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Query Response #3

Momentaryisle:
#query2010: How do inter-web interactions queer time and space? How does this queering disrupt one's personal integrity/ethics? #qd2010 11:18 AM Sep 27th via web

I think inter-web interactions such as twitter, facebook, various blogs, flicker, and oh so many more, allow for individuals to access them from almost anywhere, at almost anytime. This is very queer in itself. It is also queer to be accessing these while in class, while driving, while in the restroom, in the wee hours of the morning, or all at once. This ease of access allows for this fluidity that is really not possible within real time. For example, we must go to work or school at very specific times and follow these routines. We are not allowed to come and go as we please to these areas. Within these space is also a required etiquette that must be followed. In web interactions the only person we are truly held accountable to is ourselves. This leaves room for exploration that might not otherwise happen in real time.

Queery Response #3- ON TIME. holler.

Query: When it comes down to bullying, are social online networks just as dangerous for queer teens as they are offline?

I think this is a very interesting question. My answer is Yes, in a different way. Obviously physical violence is not present online, but the threat sure is. Mental abuse is just as prevalent and people are more likely to say more heinous things to people behind a screen name than in person.
That being said, this question makes me think that maybe there is no safe space for queer teens as long as heteronormativity is at play in our society. Gay and Lesbian teens get teased for no reason other than their "abnormalities." But without heteronormativity, would homosexuality be abnormal?

Query Response #2 (yup. still up. going strong.)

(I apoligize for my lack in ability to make this look cool and post the tweet all pretty...)

Momentaryisle 'queeried': How do inter-web relations queer time and space? How does this interrupt one's personal integrity and ethics?

I'm going to give this question a shot, though I have a feeling I will only scratch the surface of a super interesting question that I'd haven't thought of in quite these terms before.

First of all, I super like the term 'inter-web relations' as a way to capture what and who we interact with online as relations to things, ideas, and people. That is all.
Next, a simple example of a sort of 'queered' time and space on the web is of course facebook, for the sake of familiarity. Commenting, posting, messaging, tagging, and the like continue to exist in your absence. Logging in reveals all that has happened while away, yet they are suspended and waiting usually for response and attention, whether you pay attention or not. The sharing of links and conversations started on facebook is also a way to share resources to a wide audience, who may or may not stalk you every so often. Leaves one to question how far some information does go, and how this level of transparency (of sorts) impacts people who might stumble across something that has been posted. Unrelated to queering time and space and as a personal side-note related to queer as and identity: I actually do post a TON of things on my page that clearly show my politics and identities hoping they might reach someone. Lately, I have been thinking of other ways to compile information, such as starting my own blog, or other better ways to reach more people and share resources I think are important or interesting.

As for interrupting morality and integrity, I think there are multiple ways this plays out in ways that erode and/or support aspects of these considerations through 'inter-web relations'. Speaking just to one that immediately pops up is the common practice most of us have at least minimally engaged in is facebook stalking. Being one's friend or having a publicly viewable profile is an invitation of sorts for other to look at photos and anything ever posted on facebook (depending on security settings). I do not find it difficult to post mostly unrestricted, yet there is a way in which a public identity is nonetheless constructed. I wonder about the impact of this especially in light of its relatively new function, and what it means to know all kinds of information about people that have never been quite this available.

What does it mean when we piece together identities with bits and pieces of life as viewed through facebook? Or when we know entirely too much about people without ever speaking? And what about the intentional efforts to display personality and identity through what is accessible and available for those allowed to view? What are the various and contextual ethical imperatives guiding different practices: wall posting/pictures/shared links/'likes'/profile/etc.?

Query Response Entry #3

Query: When it comes down to bullying, are social online networks just as dangerous for queer teens as they are offline?

I actually think that online social networks are not going to be as intense as face to face bullying, just because you are not physically there to experience it and that it seems that it does not occur as often. Take Facebook for instance--it's hard to say that you would be bullied on a network like this, because in order to chat with someone, you have to be friends with them. What are the chances that one of your friends is going to all of a sudden start shooting you down online? Probably slim to none, unless you have someone who sends you a message over Facebook degrading you, but even then, they would have to search for you and find you, and you are able to adjust your Facebook privacy setting too, so the chance of it happening just appears to be very little. Then you take chat rooms...well for someone to discriminate you against inside one of those, you would first have to disclose of your sexual identity and then I guess hope that the other person is cool with it. If someone does choose to discriminate against you, all you would have to do is simply close out of the chat room and leave. My point of all this is that you basically control your own fate when you're online. If someone was being bullied face to face, chances are it is a group of kids (bullies) involved, making it that much harder to physically run and get the hell out of the situation. Also, hearing and seeing someone ridicule you is much more intense than reading words off of a screen--more of your senses are involved when you are in a face to face setting, putting more stress on the brain thus making your reaction and appearance that much more vulnerable.

Query Response #1 (woo. incredibly late. oops.)

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Briana | September 28, 2010 8:29 PM | ReplyBribird6 Query: How do straight individuals fit into the queer community; and what is this seen as? #qd2010

This depends on just what type of queer community is in question, and depends entirely in contexts that are infinitely variable. However, I can speak to some of my experience with gays and straights and queers and some patterns or common assumptions and/or conflicts engaging in each sphere.

I am extremely happily surrounded and shaped by people that are heteronormative and/or self-identified as straight. Some of these people are some fierce allies, and many have taught me not to assume that I will be dismissed by disclosing my queer identity. Sometimes I do have some hesitation to 'out' myself, but a million times more often than not I have been warmly received and have had my mind blown by the kindness of others. That being said, there are all types of folks, no matter gender /sexuality/race/class/dis/ability... and on and on. Just sayin'.

Those who are mostly allied identified and are a part of the queer community one way or another do seem to face initial judgment, and is definitely also tied in with heteronormativity and gender conformity being subject to curiosity and question. A cis-gender person (female identified woman/masculine identified man) who conforms to gender expectations and does not set off gay-dar WILL (you know it guys!) lead people to wonder either, "Are they 'gay'?" or "Why are they here?" Again, really depending on the situation and context, the presence of the straight-identified friend or ally being able to be amazing hinges on a ton more than this one seemingly differentiated identity.

Query Responses

Glyma_08g666_F #qd2010 (Query): in what ways does the language we use pertaining to GLBT leave many queers, especially in rural areas, unaccounted for?
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Doing Drag in Wal-Mart Interview
While I am not sure about the language that we use, I know that when talking about the queer community or LGBTQA community, one normally identifies a substantially wealthy white gay male who lives in an urban area. Many people who live in rural areas are proud of where they live and are uncomfortable with leaving. Yet the queer community blatantly argues that LGBT identifying people cannot be happy where they are and should expect hostility if they stay in a rural area. However, rural America is also known to be predominately white; therefore, how do queer people of color navigate that space? One must be aware of the overlapping of marginalization. The argument of inclusion within our rural communities is a difficult one. When answering you must also take into consideration the religion that predominately takes hold of the cultural mindset of that community. How is religion a factor? The bible belt especially can be known for its harsh realities on its queer population but the incorporation of social media and technology has made access to advocacy groups and knowledge easier to obtain. Another point would be to compare the violence against the queer community in inner cities to recognize that violence against queer individuals in rural areas is simply different but not more or less violent than that against queer individuals in the city. Within my own knowledge, many queer individuals in rural America are gaining ground in starting their own advocacy and support groups. Queers may not be unaccounted for in rural areas but simply misunderstood or not taken into consideration when talking about the queer community as a whole. Like anything else, queer individuals in rural America have special issues that need to be recognized.


Sharpbubbles:This is a really interesting blog post about women's magazines and heteronormativity- http://bit.ly/cQfIxJ Really interesting. #qd2010 Monday, November 22, 2010 9:11:09 PM via web

I fell in love with this site when I "stumbled" across it the other day and of all of the post secrets that I have seen, this might be one of the best. The question I have is when did we, as women, become more concerned with how men feel? If one succeeds in not saying what he doesn't want to hear, give get him hot and then have sex with him for as long as he wants what will this give the woman in the end? Thinking back to Ahmed and her happiness scripts, is making sure that the man is happy the answer to the woman's happiness as well? I used to think that a woman's magazine, which initially sprung from the desire to have our issues and voices raised, was a way to find out about things that are dear and near to us. If one can complete the things that things magazines say we must do to please the man, will this give us the ultimate happiness? Furthermore, as a queer woman, I do not want to hear about 10 things I can do to please my non-existent man. As a woman's magazine, shouldn't you be inclusive of all women. This means LBT women, women of color, women of different religions, etc... I understand that most of these magazines have taken a turn to fashion but to be quite honest, I would like to see a women's magazine that doesn't have to describe itself as feminist if it talks about more than sex, fashion and gossip. Lesbian magazines such as Curve don't do much better, advertising sex tips, shopping and celebrity interviews. While their snips on politics and social issues are nice, I would love to hear about the news, culture and art. What is it about women's magazines and what image are we sending to our youth? Whether you are reading Cosmo or Curve as a straight or queer identified woman, are your needs really being fulfilled when you open up that magazine? What happened to a magazine for women's needs instead of the needs and news of others?

Queery Response!

Query: When it comes down to bullying, are social online networks just as dangerous for queer teens as they are offline?

I think that it definitely depends on which social network you're using. Some are infinitely better than others.

That aside however, I think it's always dangerous to put yourself out on online sites. Some people can be really supportive and others can be downright awful, just like in reality. However, unlike in reality, there's a higher chance of someone being uncontrollable because there really isn't a chance of having to deal with the consequences of what you do online.

The most obvious danger of talking about your sexual identity online is that someone will tear you apart mercilessly simply because they don't know you, they don't think of you as a real person, and they have pretty much no way of knowing how what they say affects you because they won't see you in "real life." And I highly doubt that they care about how you're going to take whatever they're saying. There's a reason we hear about so many suicides due to online networking: people are a lot more heartless when you're not dealing with face-to-face communication. It's a lot easier to write "you stupid w****, worthless piece of...." than it is to say it. You don't have to deal with the yelling, the tears, the overall sadness that your causing someone else. In fact, you don't even have to think of them as a real person, they're just an alias online. For all you know, it could be a computer program you're talking to... and those don't have feelings so hell, it's cool if you beat them down, right? (...No.)

So yes, I do think it's more dangerous than reality. But I also think that there are pros to having online support systems to turn to when real life and our conservative society lets you down. I just think that it's important to be smart about it, and always be cautious.

Query Response #3


These questions from Mary have been with us all semester, so I think it's time to address them in a bit more scattered detail...

How have inter-web interactions queered the time and space of qd2010?

Favorite Queering Desire 2010 Queered inter-web interactions:

  • Getting to know classmates by their avatars, tracking topics, writing styles, blogging layouts etc. better than most of their names/faces/voices/backgrounds/in-class contributions. (Sorry folks, my memory is full.)

  • Catching 12 am - 6 am blog/Twitter traffic.

  • Accomplishing group work (for grades!) and cultivating deeper understanding via tweets, both mobile [work(s), bus, couch, class, car, Morris, bathroom, office, Augsburg] and not.

  • Falling in love with Twitter, with Mary.

  • Failing to finish assignments; still attending class. (This in particular feels like queering what class space and time mean and look like, as well as what learning might represent in opposition to /beside /against "getting things done.")

  • Arranging unintentional Twitter streams (from the class feed) which-- sleepless, drunk, or otherwise-- make a strange lot of sense.

  • Making videos in my boxers, just like a pro news anchor.

  • Creating back-back-channel class discussions through texts, Twitter direct messages, Facebook walls and chats, face-to-face passings.

  • Hanging out with chromeswan and Ava to blog in solidarity.

  • Having a choice audience, whenever, for the everyday oddities of gender and sexuality.


How has this queering disrupted (my? your? our?) personal integrity/ethics?

It's pretty simple, I suppose. While working to be transparent, honest, or truthful, we have both performed elaborate virtual selves and seen great intimacy in how we can be in relation to each others' lives and thought processes. We have distanced, but also drawn closer, in a way. In this sense the personal has been thoroughly disturbed, perhaps leaving us to examine a collective integrity/ethics of opening space.

Query Responce

Question: Query: When it comes down to bullying, are social online networks just as dangerous for queer teens as they are offline?

In some ways I believe that online bullying can be worse than offline/in-person bullying.

Offline bullying has been around for years and includes physical abuse and mental, emotional, phycological abuse to another. While offline bullying is horrible and should not be condoned, online bullying can potentially follow someone everywhere as we live in this technologically-driven world.

Online bullying may be worse because bulliers know that they can remain anonymous, thus possibly saying even worse things than they would in person. Online bullys may also feel like their identity won't be know, so they can't get in trouble for the things they say, so they may use harsher words.
The online world is so much a part of peoples lives these days that even when someone thinks they're safe in their home, they can still be abused by others that aren't near because of the online community.

It's bad enough when a child, teen, or adult doesn't feel safe/comfortable in their school, work environment, or public - it becomes more devistating when all parts of their world, public and home life are becoming effected by bullying.
Online bullying, I believe, adds more frustation to bullying that's most likely already occuring else-where.

In this generation, it may be harder to distance yourself from abusers than in the past.

Query Response #3

sara query.tif

Okay, so this question wasn't necessarily posed as a query, but I'm going to take it on regardless. Sara wrote this during her live tweet/note taking on the diablogue presentation/discussion for the Kincaid chapter we read. I am interested in moving these questions outside of the specific issue of child molestation and look at it how it might be applied to numerous (if not all) experiences of shame/shameful experiences.

I recently read Linda Alcoff's article, "The Problem of Speaking for Others" for my Feminist Thought and Theory class. We had a long discussion in class about it as well and we argued for and against speaking on behalf of others. Alcoff's article and our discussion in class did not address the question of shame, but I would like to venture to make some inferences. Alcoff focusses on the distinctions between speaking for/speaking of/speaking to in the article and ends it by making some suggestions for how to effectively speak to others while openly acknowledging the myriad problems that might accompany that act (which I found to be very helpful and can be applied here).

I would say that telling someone's story (especially a shameful one) carries a lot of weight. Alcoff tells us that the speaker's social location can never be truly separated from the message in the audience's interpretation. For me, this implies that a shameful story could loose some of its significance/impact if shared by someone from a position of privilege. I imagine that some of the affect that comes along with shame might be lost as well, unless the speaker had had a similarexperience and could convey that shame in their telling of the story. Perhaps we are suggesting here that the story should be shared without shame? I think shame should absolutely be present in the sharing of the story if the experience itself was shame-producing.

So far, I have essentially ignored the first part of this query which addresses why the original experience-er cannot share the shameful experience themselves. This is a much harder question to answer because there are so many factors that could influence why it the person cannot share their story. Of course, I think there are many instances in which the person can share their story if they are given a safe place to do so. I think this is absolutely preferable over having someone share the story on one's behalf because it decreases the potential losses.

One last thought: These answers are really difficult to answer on a very broad scale, right? Each speech act is perceived differently depending on the message, location of the speaker, the space in which it is spoken, and the location of the audience. However, I would argue that if we had to choose between loosing some of the impact in someone speaking on behalf of another or loosing the story entirely, we should choose the former.

Query Response

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Question: Why has is become "hard" to tell if someone's gay or not?
I just thought it was interesting that I've heard it being talked about so much.
What do you guys think?

I think that having people saying that it is hard to tell that someone is gay or not is a good indication that the society is progressing, that people have start to realize (maybe) that stereotype does not necessarily tells about one's sexuality. But in some way it also bothered me that why does people have this urge to really know about one's sexuality, to really put them into a certain group.

Query Response

Campusgirl23: Query: Should facebook offer the option to describe one's sex/gender instead of just checking a male/female box?

I believe that they should offer that option to those that feel the need to truly identify themselves as a more specific gender or sexual identity. Facebook has so many options and tools to do various things online and there is a constant flash of advertisements on the side that are trying to promote certain products based upon one's interests. If Facebook wanted to try and make more money and promote products, by allowing the option to choose a specific gender identity, Facebook could very well receive a bigger profit.
However, besides Facebook's advertising I can understand that by allowing the option of choosing one's specified gender identity could also lead to a lot of other issues related to the work field and even in the person's personal life. If any of those issues were to arise due to Facebook's option to choose a specified gender, Facebook may have to legally deal with a very serious issue. I'm not sure if Facebook would want to do that. However, I still feel that the option should be available and the choice would be up to that individual whether or not they would want to disclose those personal details.

Query 3: On "Boxes"

Query: Why has it become so hard to tell if someone's gay or not?

Someone else wrote on this earlier in the semester but I have been thinking about it a lot. I agree with their answer that things are changing and progressing and we're starting to see people cross gender binaries more often. Therefore, acceptance to alternate styles and lifestyles is fostering. I think it's important that you can't tell, not just with being gay but with a lot of stereotypical categories. The more blurry and fluid these categories become the more we are on the road to a tolerant society. I value ambiguity and things that aren't so cut and dry. I think it's important we stop looking to categories to understand people. Instead, we should get to know them and find out for ourselves.

I hope it becomes harder and harder to tell... that's progress. But it's interesting to examine why people feel uncomfortable not knowing. And better yet, why it makes us so uncomfortable to ask. Is it because we don't want to offend? Isn't it more offensive to make an assumption about that person without giving them a chance to categorize themself? It's important we make it safe to answer these questions and open dialogue around them. The more we ask, the more we will come to understand. Refusing to ask is resisting understanding, and that type of ignorance will not foster tolerance, only continue to reinforces "boxes".

third query response

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I think this is an interesting question to mull over, especially after reading Butler's "Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy." Her essay talks about livable and grievable lives, and what constitutes each of these. Vulnerability is a key element to her argument as well. Butler writes:

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I think vulnerability is also at the heart of this query. How does having an "online self" change the way that we're vulnerable to each other? Being online doesn't quite negate the reality of our bodies, which Butler argues are simultaneously ours and not ours, but definitely adds another dimension of connection and vulnerability to our "selves." I see an online self as an in-between between a corporeality and a virtual-reality. Bodies still inform lived experiences that are shared online, but their limits can be suspended in a way, for some time, because an online community has a virtual collective body.

Query Response due 12/6

Question: Why has is become "hard" to tell if someone's gay or not?
I just thought it was interesting that I've heard it being talked about so much.
What do you guys think?

I think that not all gay people flaunt their "gayness" for lack of a better term. This is similar to someone who is straight not talking constantly about their sexuality. I believe that it is better to not know immediately what someone's sexuality is. This prevents judgment and preconceived notions when first meeting someone. Straight individuals do not walk around all day talking about how much they like the opposite sex and I do not see why straight people, straight men in particular, expect gay people to be incredibly open in letting everyone know that they are gay. Some things are private and maybe gay people just do not want to be treated differently than anyone else by co-workers or acquaintances.

My friends that are gay prefer to be publicly open with their homosexuality but that is a personal choice. With our society it is up to the individual on how much he or she would like to be disclosed to strangers. It takes courage in my opinion to be yourself no matter who your audience is.

Query Response 3

Dani_d29 Query: Do you think that FB helps youth find their identity and form intimate relationships?


No. I think that there is no way that Facebook can allow youth to find their identity. It presents them with everyone's identity, that they know. Yes, can show they new things that they might be able to relate to. However, they cannot base themselves off of a social network such as Facebook. I think that Facebook can be a place where youth can express themselves, however, they need to be able to know who they are before they express themselves. As far as the intimate relationship go, that's also a no. I think that youth are starting to think that because they have how every many hundred friend that equals how many intimate relationships they have. When in reality to have an intimate relationship with anther person there needs to be human contact that allows each person to truly get to know one another. I don't think that Facebook can ever equal what face to face connect in in terms of intimate relationships.

Query Response 1

Question: Why has is become "hard" to tell if someone's gay or not?
I just thought it was interesting that I've heard it being talked about so much.
What do you guys think?

I think this is a really interesting question, I've heard people talk about this a lot too. I think that for the most part this has a lot to do with stereotypes. Even though most people don't like to think that stereotypes form their thoughts on people and communities, a lot of time they do. People have set in their minds that most people within the GLBT community are going to act a certain way, playing into the stereotypes that popular culture has presented to them. However, when people don't fit into those roles that pop culture has set up for them it makes it hard for people to know a person's sexuality.

I also think that fear plays a role in this as well. I think for the most part people do not want to just ask someone their sexuality, thus they will just stay in the dark about a person's sexuality. More so if that person doesn't fit into a stereotype.

Query Response 2

Chester_selfish: I've been bisexuality marginalized by LGBT and straight communities alike. What are others thoughts on this?

So, this is the second time I have posted this entry. I can't for the life of me find it except for in my log so I must not have hit publish or something. So again, here is my response to the above mentioned Query...
This is a topic that is personally very important to me. I think everyone in the LGBTQ community has to face a constant battle every time they step out their door. However, I think there is an added element that the bisexual community has to face. Like radioedit's comment bisexuality is often not even recognized as a sexual identity and like Amy J stated, because of this it seems like there are some extremely negative ideas about that community. One I hear a lot is that a bisexual person is "greedy", "wants the best of both worlds". Needless to say that all three of the previous comments are incredibly offensive and oppressing to the community at large. It is similar to any lesbian that comes out to her family and friends who then dismiss it as "just a phase".
In addition, a majority of the time, bisexuals are exiled from the straight community and the gay community alike. It is a feeling of not belonging anywhere which can be incredibly isolating. I think it is unfortunate that any person ever has to feel that regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, religion, or any of the other things that make us all individuals.

Query Response 3- Hetero magazines

QUERY BY: sharpbubbles

This is a really interesting blog post about women's magazines and heteronormativity- http://bit.ly/cQfIxJ Really interesting. #qd2010 Monday, November 22, 2010 9:11:09 PM via web

It's funny how heteronormative (and male centered) that our society is. I mean they pretty much killed those "how to please your man" topics because it's in almost every issue. Not to mention the fact that I think it's a little different for every guy (or it might not be, I'm not sure) on what pleases him. Why do they think women rely on their magazine to find out what their man wants? Also, there shouldn't be any reason why there isn't "how to please your woman" topics that they publish. I feel like the "queer" movement is coming a long way so I don't see why they still don't publish homonormative topics and issues to their GLBT readers. I mean I don't read ANY of those magazine because they don't apply to me what-so-ever. But to be honest I probably wouldn't read them even if they had "how to please your woman" topics because I would just find out for myself what "my" woman is pleased by.

Fighting Bullying with Kitsch: a query response no. 2

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For now, let us abandon all easy hormonal explanations for why babies elicit the emotional response described in David Bornstein's New York Times article, "Fighting Bullying With Babies," and turn our attention to aesthetics. We may well be "hardwired to be aggressive and selfish," but we are also hardwired to react appropriately to kitsch imagery, like babies -- babies and puppies and kittens and the like are cute, they earn our immediate love and affection, and thus we are not degraded by attending to their shit in public places.

I'm not necessarily opposed to Roots of Empathy's bully-fighting methods or devices - puppies are often brought to children's hospital wards to lift the spirits of sick children, which has proven an effective treatment - but their intentions, in this instance, raise some concern:

[Mary Gordon] envisioned Roots as a seriously proactive parent education program -- one that would begin when the mothers- and fathers-to-be were in kindergarten.

Ew. Parent training, really? Obviously much can be said -- and has been said in our queerings of children and futurity -- of assuming that all children in kindergarten are "mothers- and fathers-to-be," but the larger issue here is that bullying and harassment do not begin in kindergarten, do not begin with a few bad seeds that merely need to be tamed and taught to empathize, as Mary Gordon would have it:

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Obviously, Mary Gordon's utopian hopes ignore the fact that targets of vile harassment, such as Tyler Clementi, and fatal violence, such as Victoria White, are systemically produced, and are not merely victims of school-yard bullying. She also fails to acknowledge that her methods for fighting homophobic bullying actually serve to reinscribe the very heterosexual norms and ideals that produce homosexuality - and other queer identities, such as non-reproductive heterosexual kinship - as abjectly unnatural, and thus detestable and threatening. In his article, Bornstein casually mentions the possibility of Molly Wei and Dharun Ravi being charged with hate crimes, a possibility that we are supposed to find reassuring, I imagine. However, in the New York Times article he links to that discusses the former Rutgers students and their exploits, such allegations are not only dismissed, but the article mentions the New Jersey based queer organization, Queering the Air, whose website voices concern over "the politics of revenge" -- such as are often present in hate crime charges -- drawing attention, rather, to violence and hatred as products of Ideology, systematically produced and reinforced:

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Query Response #2

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Thinking in another direction, as I often do, to the extent that we've engaged in class with queer critiques of marriage discourse we've left similar playing and queering of the terms of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) relatively untouched. So has anyone else seen what another one of my idols, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, has to say about the reification of U.S. militarism, racism, and nationalism that we can see in "mainstream GLBT" funding-funneling to counter DADT?



http://tinyurl.com/MattildaReDADT

It's clear that Mattilda opens some really rich veins to mine, right? I'm especially interested in how Mattilda brings this discussion also back to its relationship to media spectacles of queer youth suicide, as in these two sound bites:

What the fight against DADT is telling our queer youth, they're saying, "Well, don't kill yourselves now. Wait, and you can enlist in the military and go abroad and kill and terrorize people of color all over the world." So, that is not a social justice struggle.

...and later...

We shouldn't be telling queer teens, "Oh, when you grow up, you can become part of the same system that's destroying not only your life, but the lives of everyone in the world."

Zing! I mean, Mattilda's certainly not afraid to be blunt. I haven't seen anyone else put this so succinctly-- if we're concerned with critiquing homonormativity and condemning homonationalism and can make the connection to marriage and complicity in violent systems of sexism, racism, etc. then we should certainly bring the same consciousness to deconstructing other mainstreams of U.S. GLBT activism. The former quote from Mattilda also makes me wonder if it is strategic here to draw a distinction between GLBT activism broadly speaking and social justice movements which center liberation in the form of self determination. As Mattilda says, "that is not a social justice struggle," referring to a fight for GLBT "rights" which only squashes the lives of another Other.

Queery Response # 2-- Super Late, as per usual.

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Campusgirl23: Query: Should facebook offer the option to describe one's sex/gender instead of just checking a male/female box? #@qued2010 1:13 PM Sep 28th via web

My response:
Heck yes they should.
But, there are many changes that need to be made along those lines. Yes, yes, yes and hell yes people should be able to describe their gender, sexual preferences in the like any way they choose and should definitely not be confined checking a box.
By that same token, people should be allowed to describe their race, ethnicity, or other cultural identities in any way they seem fit. They should not simply be relegated to whichever box they are provided.
Social media, along with other forms of media is extremely heteronormative, but luckily the internet is a very fluid medium and changes are easily made. I wonder what can be done to make this change?

Queery Response #2

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I personally thinks that social network have the same potential for queer teens as they are offline of being bullied, since literally every teens or even everyone is involve in social network. I do think that the communities online can be equally abusive if not worst. This is because the bullies can choose to remain anonymous, and not take responsibility of what he or she have said. But words are powerful, it can really hurt one really bad even if it is from someone who one do not know. Online communities or network still behave like the real community, since they are make up from real people.

Query Response #2

Campusgirl23: Query: Should facebook offer the option to describe one's sex/gender instead of just checking a male/female box? #@qued2010 1:13 PM Sep 28th via web

I think that this whole section of facebook should be much more ambiguous. Not only should there be a better breakdown of sex and gender options, but people should also have the option to put nothing at all. What do you think? For example, I think people should be allowed to choose more than one gender or be able to mark exactly how they "feel/identify at a particular moment". An individual's personal identity/preferences can change throughout life. Also, what about those who are transitioning or those who choose not to have a full reassignment surgery and want their friends and family to be a part of this life-changing process? Shouldn't they be able to mark more than one sex? The options of sex and gender in humans is so incredibly fluid that our options to represent this fluidity should match.

P.S. To the class, sorry this is coming late. I have had the flu for the last three days :(.

Queery Response #2

Response to Seashelbs Queery: Is it offensive to ask someone if their gay/trans/etc?

This is a great question and it has multiple answers. I, personally would not ask a person if they were gay, bi, or trans just because I think it is a little forward. I mean usually a person only thinks about asking someone of their sexual identity when they are borderline about what they think they actually are. No one ever asked me if I was gay, but when I started telling people, I got responses like, "Oh yeah, I can see that," or fooled completely like, "Haha, you're full of crap." Either way, I received feedback because I first decided to disclose of my sexual identity and was never approached by it. I will say this however, there are exceptions to when it is ok, in my opinion, to ask someone about it. For instance, if you are really close to the person, and he/she is one of your dearest friends, and you have noticed that something has been bothering him/her and you get him/her to start venting to you and the question comes up: 1) that's ok and 2) here's why: it's probably better that you brought it up, because then if your friend does decide to tell you that he/she is gay/bi/trans, he/she will feel a lot better about themselves now that they have gotten it off their chest. It is sort of a situational type of deal. Above all, the most important thing to remember is that you are touching a very personal area of another person's life, and you have to think about how they will react to how you approach the matter--play the game for everyone and think about how everyone will be affected.

Query Response #2

Seashelbs Query: Is it offensive to ask if someone is gay/trans/etc?

I understand that this is a question that can be answered in so many ways by a single person and infinitely by people in their diversity of experiences. I'll say that one: If you want to get in my pants their is probably a better way. Second, and more seriously, as this question has arisen directed towards me in many circumstances I have considered people's intentions in asking these questions. The vast majority of my circumstances seem to land the questioner in a position of reaffirming to themselves that they do not exist in queer space. "You're straight right?" Is a possible manifestation of this line of questioning and sets to ensure the curious that they or their actions are not queer and that their way of being is not influenced by queer presences. Thus, the curious may be able to feel or communicate with my body in queer or homoerotic ways as long as I'm "straight" their actions are not queer or influenced by queerness but normative. These are questions that beg the accused to expose their societal relation to power. It may also be a means to allow people to perform social "power plays" over marginalized bodies. Is it offensive to ask? It depends who you ask but within the fabric of contemporary capitalism it is a legitimate strategy to gain from. How are you employed, what's your disposable income, are you gay/trans etc.? Just different notes on a rusty tuba.

Query Response 2

Seashelbs - Query: Is it offensive to ask if someone is gay/trans/etc?

Although I do identify myself as a heterosexual, I feel that by asking someone else what their sexual identity lies, is not offensive depending on the situation. If the question that is being asked, is in a social environment where everyone is very open and understanding, then I believe it should be okay to ask such a question. However, I always find myself judging certain individuals based on their physical appearance and their mannerisms. Maybe I have been conditioned to react that way, but what I do understand is that when I meet someone who I may assume to be gay/lesbian/trans/etc, I would never have the nerve to ask them if they were gay. I think there is just a boundary line where I feel that it is not necessary to ask someone about their sexual identity, unless that individual wants to openly tell me about it. Throughout my whole life, people knew that I was Asian but they automatically assumed that I was either Chinese or Japanese. Now I know that this is different from being asked if one is gay or not, but I have had to deal with people asking me if I was Chinese or Japanese. I hated it when people did that to me, because I did not want to be categorized under only those two different ethnicities. Maybe I am wrong about this but my personal opinion is that, gay people must also dislike it when other people ask them if they were gay or not. However, I still feel that depending on the social environment and how the person phrases the question, it should be okay to ask someone what their sexual identity is.

Query Response! (2)

I can't insert an image right now for whatever reason, BUT, the tweet that I'm responding to is:
davyeo: how effective is the internet or media in helping youth in their coming out process and the understanding of the public?

I think the internet is extremely helpful to youth who are coming out or thinking about coming out.
First of all, it's one big pile of information- just google anything you'd want to know about coming out, about being gay or lesbian or anything else and you can find something that will help you out. That alone would take away some of the stress because you could answer some of the burning questions without actually having to take the coming-out-step to get them answered.
The internet also provides a venue for a person to come out anonymously, whether through their own blog, vlog, or just on comments on various websites. That allows them to kind of prepare themselves for having a "gay lifestyle" before they let people in their lives know about their sexual orientation.
I think having the internet as a venue to express themselves in is a big help and a really great outlet.

Query Response!

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When I first saw this question it made me think of how a parent can/cannot make their child gay.
I believe that there isn't a choice. You are gay or not gay, but I do think that the way your parents raise you can influence how much you associate with one gender or another. If this class has taught me anything, it's that regardless of one's sex or sexual orientation, one can associate with whichever gender (or a combination) they so choose.
I think it's really difficult to say how much or how little influence a parent has on a child's affiliation with a gender- mostly because as a child grows their interactions with the outside world are controlled less and less by the parent.
I think a lot of parents get scared when they realize that their child is gay, and especially after doing a google search about raising gay children, most of the results I got were "What Do I do NOW?" or "Anxious About Raising a Gay Child?" and the like. I think it's kind of sad that most parents would have that reaction. Coming out is already kind of scary I'm sure, so I think it's especially important to have the support of your parents and if they're just scared or worried about themselves after you tell them, that's certainly not helping anything.
In the opposite kind of direction, I think it's not ok for parents to try to raise their child to be gay. I think if you try too hard to influence a child's sexual orientation you're just going to confuse them and then they'll have an even harder time in the awkward teen years than they would've otherwise. They're hard enough as it is.

Que(e)ry Response #2: Unfixing Fixity?

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Okay, so this is a really good (tough) question. I am going to give some thoughts which will, most likely, not serve so much as an answer per se. Hopefully I will be able to shed some light on what might eventually become something of an answer.
I think it is important to first acknowledge the opening statement of this question: "if theory tries to undo 'gender fixity...'" I will assume, for all intents and purposes, that jaropenerkate is referring to queer theory, as a discipline and as a site of heavy deconstruction of categories. It has long since been acknowledged that gender categories, in that they are maintained almost entirely by actions performed (Butler) by subjects, are socially/societally constructed identities. This being said, queer theory and other postmodern disciplines seek to dismantle the characteristics that we (as a society) associate with gender and challenge their origins, authenticity, and relevance. Those individuals who aline themselves with queer politics (or perhaps feminism) might seek to break down their own performances of gender and perform as gender-neutral, gender-fucked, or gender-queer.
So, if we move from societal space in general (as I have been ambivalently using as a framework in the above explanations) to virtual space and communities, how might constructions of gender change? I think the heart of this query lies in whether we are more or less able to flex gender binaries in the virtual world. While ideally the virtual spaces would give us greater allowances to construct an identity that is not inherently affected by social influences, this does not seem to be the case in many of the mainstream virtual spaces. We (as users of these spaces) are consistently asked to identify ourselves within a male/female binary. If we are required to do this, then perhaps we have more flex room in the 'real world.' Perhaps if we are read by others based solely on our performances (in contrast to a clearly-defined label on our profile pages), there is a greater chance that we might not be read in binary terms.
Just some beginning thoughts.

Query response 2

Query::::

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http://www.servicemembersunited.org/survey = DADT survey. Thoughts? #qd2010

I never really understood why it was such an issue for homosexuals to be in the military and this survey troubles me even more. I find it troublesome that in the beginning of the survey they ask you to rate morale, performance and ability to work together of your unit and they ask you again when you reach the "homosexual" section. Do people really have this much of an issue with homosexuality that it would interfere with their morale? Personally, I wouldn't care either way as long as my leader and team members are people who I can depend on and I don't believe sexuality determines ones dependability. I especially don't like the fact that this survey asks how willing you would be to recommend a family member to join the military if "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," was repealed (page 21). It just seems strange that this is such a huge issue within the military. I've talked to several friends of mine who are heterosexual and in the military and they've told me that they really don't care who is in the army as long as they don't hit on them. However, they also told me that some of the members in their units had a problem with homosexuality in the military because they thought that they (homosexuals) wouldn't perform well in combat. I really don't see why being a homosexual would affect your ability to fight. I just think it's really interesting how much of a problem this is within our military.

Query Response 2

Chester_selfish: I've been bisexuality marginalized by LGBT and straight communities alike. What are others thoughts on this?

I read somewhere that sexual orientation cannot be interchanged with sexual preference, technically speaking. It can be insulting to those who are homosexual and bisexual. I thought it was interesting and is relatable to Chester_selfish's comment featured above. Sexual orientation is determined at birth while sexual preference is thought to be a choice. Another idea that I have seen discussed in several magazine articles and featured stories online is that homosexual individuals view bisexual people as "not one of them". They view all people as either gay, straight, or lying. The "lying" group includes those identified as bisexual. It is believed that those individuals are too afraid to identify as gay or have some other issue with it. Although, these opinions are not of my own, they are often represented in popular culture. For example, there is an episode of Sex and the City that came to mind and since I can't get this F***ing thing to work to get a link to connect, here is the exact address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K1_KSysCLI or you can visit youtube.com and type in "sex and the city clips bisexual" and click on the first link that comes up which should be titled 'Sex and the City: Carrie Season 3'. (fast forward to 2 minutes and 30 seconds and watch for a while).


This clip shows that popular culture fuels the belief that bisexuality is experimental and glamorized as being adventurous and different, when bisexuality as well as homosexuality has not been proven as a choice or biologically determined. Personally I think it sucks that bisexual people are marginalized by their gay and lesbian counterparts.

Query 2: On bisexuality

Query: I've been bisexuality marginalized by LGBT and straight communities alike. What are others thoughts on this?

This question really hit home with me. I have always felt the same way because I identify as bisexual and can "pass" as straight. Because of this, the concept of passing is something I am very familiar with. I find it hard to understand why I always receive the same response, "just choose"... which has never been the right question. I identify as pansexual and bisexual strictly because I don't care about gender. I look for good people to spend my time with. When people ask if I like men or women I respond, "I like people". Because for me, that's all it is. Obviously I'm attracted to certain things, but my main focus is on finding a PERSON with whom I'm attracted to and makes my heart smile.

I have learned to walk a fine line between between the gay/lesbian and straight divide. I am not fully accepted by either, but depending on who I'm dating can fit into one group better than the other. That's okay with me though I guess. It has never really bothered me that much because I don't really fit into any category and have always prided myself on having a variety of friends. I spread myself thin as to avoid being put in boxes. Maybe we should form our own strictly bisexual group and discriminate against everyone else! Ha, jokes!?

query response 2 'bullying'

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The question posed was
"Question: Query: When it comes down to bullying, are social online networks just as dangerous for queer teens as they are offline?"

I think this is a particularly interesting and urgent question, in light of the recent suicides of young queers. What the suicides highlight, in an extreme fashion, is the reality of the internet. What is said online, and the identities created online are just as real and powerful as the physical bodies of the people creating them. I'm reminded of Stockton's "ghostly gay child" image--the online and offline identities could possibly seen as ghosts of each other, because they never quite exist wholly together, in the same space and time. But what DOES exist in both space and time, both online and offline, are the words written and the feelings engendered by those words. Words have power and words can be violent. Because online social networks like facebook are looked at as entertainment, their potential effects aren't often given much weight. But all of those profiles represent real people, and real experiences. And they can also facilitate real feelings that have physical effects, as in the suicides.

"That's so gay" commercial

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This commercial I thought was really creative and well-done. It is a good and yet simple example of how discrimination of homosexual people and teenagers can come from something not meant to be hurtful.

Online Networking - Positive vs Negative effects

Many people think that facebook and other social networkings sites are awesome for connecting and coming out.
I think these sites can be potentially dangerous and toxic. Broad casting your life on the interent will find you support, but I think it's also opening yourself up to bullies and mistreatment. I think it's important to make sure you have someone in your physical life that you can depend on through your tough times, you shouldn't put all your worth into your computer and blackberry.
The internet is awesome for interacting and getting to know people you may have never met, and also for staying connected with ones you know. I think you need to know limits. You also need to remember that some people won't agree with you, and they may try to bring you down. The internet may be a dangerour place for someone who doesn't have a strong mental footing first. I believe people online can be very cruel because it's easier to type something rather than say it to their face.
Have you had/felt more support online or with people in your physical presence? Would you delete your blog if someone was constantly harassing you online?

Finding identities... a response to Dani_D29

I would assert that facebook is a great place for youth to find their identities. However what I mean by identities is not essentially what a youth might think of themselves, but how others will perceive them. It's more about youth finding the identity that will be tacked onto their person if they admit to or list certain activities or preferences, etc. Ourselves, molded from our experiences, is a dynamic construction that takes place over large expanses of linear time. Therefore, facebook might in time or in swift add bits of experience to this dynamic but it will unlikely lay foundations. Again, however, it will allow the youth to flex their analytic and critical views of themselves helping them find their external identities. Understanding how others view and identify us is a huge step into self awareness. It might be said that this awareness of how we are perceived and not just how we mean to be perceived can be very influential in our ability to form intimate relationships.

Absoultely not! I think facebook and other social networks are not good for that. Like i have stated before, poeople can be anyone they want to be on FB or anywhere else on the internet. There was a study done on kids, it was a social experiment called the halloween study. They placed a mirror infront of a house in front of a candy bowl. where there was a sign that said, take one please. then there was a control group which was withought a mirror. do you know what they found? that when the children could see themselves they took just one piece but when there was no mirror they took several. so i think when we are hidden behind a computer screen and we cant actually see the other person who we are talking to. people lie, its human nature, they might make themselves seem better than they are or worse. Now im not saying that we shouldnt trust anyone, just i dont think we can really form "intimate relationships" with ANYONE without seeing them and being able to talk to them and actally see that they are a "real" person. As for forming an identity... sure... but what any identity really.

Query Response: Is it offensive?

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This is a pretty loaded question, and an interesting one at that. The reason I chose this query to answer is that I have a fair amount of personal experience with this issue, and that is mainly what I will draw upon for the answer. This is to say that I cannot answer for queers everywhere, or that I can even really apply theory to help me answer the question.

My experience has been that is depends entirely on the context in which the question is asked. There are many different ways in which you can ask someone about their gender/sexual identity, and the motivation behind the question ultimately will determine how it is perceived. Usually when someone says, "No offense but..." the question is meant to be offensive. I've also found that being asked what my sexual/gender identity is rather than if it is gay/trans/queer seems to come across in a much more friendly manner.

If I were to apply theory to this question, I would have to say that we must keep in mind the fluid nature of gender/sexuality, which means that we would not suggest a certain identity in our questioning, but rather allow the subject to use their own classifiers. Of course, we must also be open to graciously accepting that the person does not want to answer/does not have an answer.

Interesting.

the internet and coming out

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I think the internet constitutes a space in which queer teens can seek out, search for, and often times find a community. But I think the idea of the "coming out narrative" within those communities as necessary to the identity and process of identification as queer remains pretty unquestioned within the space of the internet and youtube. Does the internet also provide alternative ideas about coming out? Does it also steer those teens to people who have different experiences of self-identification and making that identity known to the people around them? Can that teen know the implications of posting a video online? To be a teen looking for guidance and community and finding that that depends on following a certain coming out path prescribed by an online community could also be problematic.

Query Response: BiSexuality

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Chester_selfish: I've been bisexuality marginalized by LGBT and straight communities alike. What are others thoughts on this?

Most of the time, bisexuality is labeled as a "lifestyle" rather than a sexual identity. Often times, it is simply cast away. The greatest example I found is a quote by Woody Allen: in which he states that being bisexual, "doubles your chance of a date on Saturday night."
In TV shows especially, Bisexuals are considered the "safer" choice in the attempt to diversify and portray a gay character. Before the term "metrosexual" was even coined, bisexuality became a trend and blurring the lines between gay and straight was a way for a wider variety of sexual encounters to occur- an increase in ratings.
It is a difficult issue. For many, a bisexual is either "not gay enough" within the gay community, "just gay enough" to be excluded from the straight community or simply accepted out of curiosity and asked for insight into the gay world. Within common thought, it is perceived that there is hetero and homosexuality. Like gender, sexuality is fluid and is can be neither one nor the other. For many, the inability to "pick a side" is unnerving and unclassifiable.
I believe that more attention should be given to bisexuality within queer scholarship and furthermore, it needs to be recognized as a genuine form of sexuality within both communities.

Query Response #1

davyeo: Query: how effective is the internet or media in helping youth in their coming out process and the understanding of the public? #?qd2010 12:48 AM Sep 26th via web

With the creation of the internet, people from all walks of life are able to come together. This is particularly helpful for those in the GLBT community. It has created an outlet where people from villages, unincorporated towns, metropolis', and more can come together and share common likes and aspirations. For those in the GLBT community it can be a place, an outlet to find themselves and try/examine new things. These options are especially important for those in the GLBT community who have confirmed a new identity or are questioning it. In general the internet can be a great place to find out about Queer culture (what do certain flags or signs represent, Queer book groups, GLBT allied organizations, where are the "gay" bars in my city, etc.). The possibilities on the internet seem endless, but there is a dark side as well.


Facebook is a good example which can provide a liberating environment. However, there seems to be a false sense of control on facebook. The options given for creating a profile are very limited and clearly set to a heteronormative standards. For example, "Sex" male or female. What about transgender, or woman who identifies as male, or bisexual, or no gender at all? Then there is the "looking for" section with the options of friendship, dating, a relationship, or networking. What about wanting to show that you have more than one serious relationship or you practice polyfidelity? Another heteronormative standard used on facebook is their use of marketing/advertising based on the sex that you choose in your profile. Adds on the side of the page are geared towards male or female. For women: Vogue Magazine, perfume, get free makeup, etc. For men: girls in your area, check out the latest girl on girl action, old spice, etc.

As you can see the endless possibilities on the internet can be freeing and educational. The facebook phenom in many ways is also a great place to make connections and express yourself. However, it is important to see the normative "rules" that are set on many social networks.

The internet is definitively a great place to explore, question, and learn. It is also a great place to establish a group of people that an individual may identify with. The internet is a place to experiment with new places, people, and ideas. With all of these options in mind, the coming out process for youth can be as open or anonymous as they choose.

Query: In what ways can online "selves" transgress the limits of physical selves in terms of community building?

I think that online selves can form stronger ties in terms of activism than physical selves sometimes. People are more likely to share online and more likely to be honest. It gives a safe space for people to reach out and learn other people's stories, while at the same time allowing for people to build communities, alliances, networks, and foster activism.

The digital self has more freedom in this type of arena and is more likely reaching out and interracting with people in similar positions. Blogging identity demonstrates individualism and the freedom of expression. I think that online selves are necessary to connecting with people with similar interests. Years ago when online media didn't exist, it was harder to assemble or come together under a common belief without seeking it out or showing interest in it initially. Online media allows access to sets of knowledge beliefs one probably wouldn't have attained otherwise, or even stumbled across. The aspect of "stumbling across" can foster connections and interest in things one didn't know about or find important before. It let's people in marginalized groups know that there are people out there just like them, it reasserts normalness and creates communities that wouldn't have come together otherwise. In this aspect, our online selves have more access to communities than our physical selves.

Query Response

Do you really think that FB helps youth find their identity and form intimate relationships?
I absolutely think that social networks, like Facebook, can be a huge influential factor in terms of predominately adolescent adults...or anyone to help and find out who they really are and come to terms with the world that they are living in. Obviously this varies from person to person, nonetheless, by someone being able to vent or post whatever they want to the general public or their friends can really help a person with their self-esteem knowing that there are people out there who will read this and in turn care about what that individual is saying. Consequently, this could in fact lead to the formation of relationships, and even in some cases intimate ones. It's amazing how the method of meeting people have changed over the course of the last decade. Having other people out there for you can really go a long way in the sense of becoming a confident and affectionate person. We tend to play off of each other in that way, thus forming and strengthening these friendships and relationships...at least that is how I look at it.

Queery Response #1

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I think that Facebook can help a person express their personal identity, but not necessarily find one. At least not your true identity. It gives the user the ability to create a different identity than one that they have on a daily basis.
This can be a good thing and also somewhat problematic, it can lead to confusion within a person, or a person feeling that they need to be different or better because of how things are happening on their facebook page.

Transgressive Selves: a query response, no. 1

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While some of the work involved in processing a response to this query has already been done for me, I do have a few thoughts/questions of my own to add to the discussion. Firstly, I'm very interested in/troubled by the notion of an online identity/self that "lasts 'forever'" as formulated in the afore-linked engagement: my main question being-- what is meant by forever as it pertains to online identity, or online texts, etc.? and why the quotation marks around the word? And I do agree that these quotation marks are properly in their place within this context, which may be my main point of contestation, as this is precisely the trouble I'm having with the concept of online time and its queer/ing temporality. Does online presence allow one to develop a virtual self outside the confines of time linearly conceived? What is the opposition between a virtual self and a real self? or, perhaps, where does a distinction take place? Is the primary opposition that one (real life self) is limited by linear time and geographical space and the other (virtual self) not? How might a virtual self also be limited by these conceptions of time and space?

I'm supposed to be answering the questions, not asking them, right? As that doesn't seem very likely at this point, I'll move on to the next part of the question -- namely, that which concerns the transgression of physicality, for which I turn to Julie Rak for assistance in an attempt to formulate some semblance of an answer. In "The Digital Queer: Weblogs and Internet Identity," Rak begins her discussion by calling attention to one of the originations of weblogs as somewhat of a transgression (my word, not hers) of diary keeping -- diaries being, by definition and relevant association, private: unread by anybody except its author. Weblogs, unlike paper diaries, have audience members and are, as an effect, an evolution (one might argue an aggressive flouting) of the private diary and interpersonal -- as well as personal -- communication. The inevitable result of which being what have come to be perceived as the development of online communities -- people with a common interest/goal/what-have-you engaging in conversation, arguments (both productive and unproductive), or even activism through online networks. Perhaps Rak's most important discussion of online blogging communities takes place on page 172, under the heading "Blog Ideology," where she addresses blogging rhetoric and its "[adherence] in some form to a version of liberalism which was part of early internet culture. In this form of liberalism, freedom of expression is important, particularly when it occurs outside of institutional attempts to control the flow of information." In this sense, blogging communities may be formed through a sharing network of otherwise inaccessible, previously privatized, information. But, there remains the lingering question of censorship -- internet censorship exists, right? And this is something I know next to nothing about, but am curious about what types of information are accessible online and to whom? (I'm thinking of this question primarily in terms of government media censorship and language -- but I'm sure there are other types of internet censorship/varying degrees of inaccessibility to information depending on one's physical locality/reality, etc.)

Query Response on Dani_D29

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I do not think that FB does helps effectively in finding their own identity. I agree with the comment by patrio84 that there are a lot of people who falsify their identity on facebook in order to receive acceptance or maybe merely for fun for them to "live" virtually, an escape for them, from the reality. I mean people are creating facebook account for their pets. (O_O)

I do think that facebook does provide a platform for one to experiment with different identity which they think they might be, but does not facilitate in depth understanding of oneself.

I still thinks that engaging with real people is really important for one to find their own identity. Internet may be a source for a person to get the information and where to look for help. Finding one's identity is not an easy path, sometimes I thinks that one can understand other people better than themselves. There are people who spend their life in search of who they are and what they want in life... The search is a journey...

I also believe that facebook is not a good place to form intimate relationship, but I have to say there is absolutely no possibility of it happening but just that the possibility is small. One is in a relationship with another is because of the way of how they feel towards each other. Their body gesture, their smiles, eyes contact when they talked, their facial expression and all others which are contributing factor to one's feeling towards another person, all these little things make you think that, "hey I like the way you smile when I said something funny...", which apparently cannot be "channeled" through facebook. Besides the sincerity and truthfulness of what is being said online is also one of the reason why I do not think that facebook is a place for the formation relationship. Apart from that, people might not even take the relationship that is form on facebook seriously due to the flexibility it provides, one can get into a relationship now and get out from it the next second without even telling another person, they can just simply disappear.

Group 7 comment

I feel that negative aspects of social media are solely based on individual perspectives, and it cannot always be taken to heart. There will always be certain individuals or groups that are not willing to be open-minded of social issues and it is something that cannot always be changed. I do see that the social media often forgets to incorporate both sides of a story, and sometimes creates one that badly portrays the life of gays, queers, or transsexuals. I do admit that I used to believe that it was very easy to identify a gay man, if they act feminine or dress themselves up in bright, fitted outfits. It was due to the fact that the media portrayed gay men in this way and it was not always true. I do understand that we cannot box up GLBTs in this manner. The social issue behind gender identity is more complex than that. The portrayal of gay lives in the media, only falsifies the fact that all gay men or women are not alike. The majority of the youth who are not gay, will not understand this unless they have a close friend or family member who is going through a sexual identity crisis, or if they are taking a required course that teaches them about gender identity. Only through these instances will the youth have a better understanding of what gay lives and cultures are truly about.

Commenting on davyeo

I find that by engaging themselves in the online media, the youth can find a supportive social network that they can relate to. Sometimes internet social networks can be more supportive and understanding of the individual who decides to reveal their true sexual identity. Although there is that issue of how much one can be trusting of others that one has not met "physically", it does give the individual a chance to be as open as they possibly can, and a way for them to deal with negative comments online before dealing with them offline. The online world is an opportunity for one to connect with others that are going through the same issue, and it also helps teaches those that are heterosexuals another way of life.

Going through a sexual identity crisis, online blogging, or vlogging is a great way for the youth to gather their thoughts and fully express themselves without being interrupted by someone else. These "coming out" blogs can teach the youth that they are not alone, and that most "coming out" stories aren't always all the same. Although the inspiration for coming out is always influenced by others that have gone through the same situation.

Query Response #1

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Response to Dani_D29 Query

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This is such an interesting topic to me and I am glad you posed this question for contemplation. Personaly for me, I don't believe that it is possible for youth to find their TRUE identities through social networking sites. Truthfuly I don't even know how realistic it is to assume that adults are displaying their true identities. Facebook and Myspace (when that was the "in" thing) are ways for us to put our best face forward. Generaly speaking we post witty and funny messages that we have had time to think about. Rarely do we see phots that are unflattering unless they were posted by someone else. These social sites are a way for people, young or old, to create a profile containing only the pieces that we want everyone else to see. In real everyday life, kids make mistakes, do dumb things, mature, do more dumb things, grow up, and eventualy they start to figure themselves out. It is hard enough to know who you really are in this physical existence.
Aside from that though, I believe that social networking is a fantastic resource for meeting people and forming communities. It is a way for the youth of today to reach out when perhaps they have nowhere else to turn or no one else to talk to. So while I do not think it is possible for our youth to find their true identities online, I do think it is a great way for them to express what they are feeling and believing at the moment.

Commenting on Dani_D29 tweet

Personally I do not feel that FB helps youth find their identities and form intimate relationships. I say this because a lot of people who are engaging with FB give false perceptions of themselves. A lot of people falsify their identities to be accepted and be seen as "cool", they find special ways to say things so that they seem interesting and so they are noticed and or gain friends. With false identities being formed and people forming relationships with people they really don't know (just by what they say, which could be a lie), no, youths are not able to form intimate relationships through FB because for all they may know the picture they see of that person may not be them, or could be a picture of them from years ago (what they once looked like). FB is a place to communicate with already known friends not to form intimate relationships with strangers.

i am commenting on Briana's "Second life, real life?"

Does Second Life meet the one year requirement for a real life experience in the gender one wants?

I thought a lot about this after reading the article. I was also wondering if 365 hours is equivalent to a 1 year period in virtual world? Thus, does an hour equal a day in virtual reality? Meaning that 365 hours would actually equal a year online?

I honestly did not feel they were comparable either, but I think it is an interesting experiment to try and compare virtual reality to a one year commitment performing the gender one feels they actually are. As someone that does not have an experience such as that of a trans/man or trans/woman it is hard for me to understand why someone would need to do a one year fulfillment? Haven't the people wishing to match their biological sex to their claimed gender spent their whole lives living in the wrong body, and don't you think they would be sure (based on their lived life experience until that point) that they are infact unhappy with their biological sex? I find it hard to compare virtual world to reality at all really, because I don't think it's real.

Yet, maybe in the future we will all be living in a matrix where as we walk down the street a person's facebook profile will pop up above their head? God, I hope not. What if our avatars become comparable to our real lives? And the digital world becomes so real that we really can live and perform daily operations strictly online? Oh no!

Group 6 Queery Response: Online versus Offline "selves"

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The Internet, as we know, is not biological or living, but rather a man made invention. Society often talks about it in terms of crawling, expanding, chattering, exploding, and other sorts of life-like actions. This likely happens for many reasons, but one that is of interest for me is that the Internet has outgrown (another word!) its control by any one or several institutions and seems limitless in capability and function. It is, by all accounts, a very new invention that we have come to embrace and become dependent on. The Internet as a medium as grown faster than any other historically and continues to change itself by those who use and connect with it.

As a medium for queer spaces, its boundaries are limitless and is fueled by engagement. We all become nodes and conduits in creating and defining these spaces, ourselves, and the world around us. These spaces can be much more fluid and ripe for revolution when compared to their physical counterparts. Communication and interaction between people across the globe, representing a multitude of identities, becomes commonplace. Curiosity and questioning fosters new questions and new possibilities. Media, ideas, and knowledge can be accessed, shared, dissembled, and rearticulated at breakneck speeds, not possible in physical spaces.

We are at the tip of the revolution. Innovation, according to a computer scientist named Christopher Langton, has a tendency to gravitate toward "the edge of chaos: the fertile zone between too much order and too much anarchy". We've only begun to use the Internet as a tool for community building, the capabilities and limits of our online selves are not yet, and may never be defined.

Enjoy this 17 minute video from TED on the astonishing power of networks by Steven Johnson called "Where good ideas come from":

Bullying

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Question: Query: When it comes down to bullying, are social online networks just as dangerous for queer teens as they are offline?

I think that online social networks can be just as dangerous as offline bullying. There might not be a physical aspect online (although it might lead to a physical contfrontation offline) there is a huge danger in emotional and mental bullying. The phrase "sticks and stones" is nice to believe but it just isnt true. I think that we all depend on words and each word has a certain depth and meaning and can be extremely hurtful, especially when there's more than one bully. I believe there was a case a few years ago where a young girl killed herself because she was being harrassed on facebook or myspace. She was being harrassed so much online that she thought the only way to escape was to end her life. Like I said, there might not be a physical aspect to online social networks but it's still just as dangerous. But thats just my opinion.

comment on DE: on "So how do you tell?"

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QUESTION: Why has is become "hard" to tell if someone's gay or not?
I just thought it was interesting that I've heard it being talked about so much.
What do you guys think?

I think this is an interesting question because I frequently think about stereotypes. No one wants to acknowledge them, but they obviously stemmed (back in the day) from some amount of truth. At least enough truth to make it a majority for that specific group. Yet, I believe that you cannot possibly look at someone and assume a stereotype is true because of their ethnic/cultural/gender/class group. I think that people want it to be easier to tell because it, for some reason, makes people uncomfortable if they are not sure of someone's sexual orientation.

You will hear guys say things like, "I don't mind gay guys, as long as they don't hit on me!" as if we're scared to be hit on? Why does it make us uncomfortable? Because we don't want it? Just because you're gay doesn't mean you're going to hit on everyone around you! I just think we have this mentality that we should be able to identify someone who is gay based off of certain signifiers, which only fit stereotypes, which is problematic because most GLBT identified people are not dead give-aways and don't fit the stereotypes we have made for them. GLBT identified people are not a homogenous group that have all the same characteristics. We need to stop putting people in boxes!

I think it has become "hard" to tell because we are now, more than ever, more comfortable talking with and creating dialogue about sexual desire. And since we are more open, it is less of a problem to us. And since it is not as big of a problem more people live openly and they obviously don't conform to an outdated stereotype. Our stereotype of masculinity and femininity is such a binary that we tend to view any guy that isn't hypermasculine as possibly gay, and any woman that isn't overly girly as a possible lesbian? When people don't conform perfectly within the binary we don't know how to define them, and they don't feel the need to define themselves to everyone they meet. We just are, let's get over all the bullshit. People do not always fit into boxes, and as we evolve and become more understanding of eachother, we are less likely to fit so perfectly and cleanly into those boxes we created.

Query Assignment

1 Tweet
Throughout the semester, we will be tweeting questions to/about the class on twitter. The purpose of these questions is to keep us talking/thinking/engaging with each other and class ideas. Your questions can be about anything that is relevant to the class topics. You could ask about a term or what other people thought about the reading. Your questions could be aimed at clarifying our in-class discussion or the readings. Or at pushing at course ideas--being critical of the limits and imagining the possibilities or applying concepts to your lived experiences or other concrete situations. Or even at continuing conversations that we begin in class, but weren't able to finish.

2 Query Responses
In addition to posting your own questions, you are required to critically reflect on two query tweets. In these critical reflections, which should be blog entries, you can answer the question posed in the query or you can ask even more questions about the initial question. You can reflect on the implications of the question or write about how/why this is an important question. Basically, you just need to seriously engage with the query and provide a thoughtful response.
Category: Query

Due Dates:
Query Tweet: September 27
Query Response: October 1
Query Response: October 25
Query Response: December 6

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