Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is a zombie.

Pictured: G.U. with a bottle of Bacardi Zombie and a skull shaped shot glass, looking sickly drunk or possibly undead.

Turns out he was just drinking Zombie. The effects are virtually the same.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus finds a UFO.

Pictured: G.U. next to a pile of bird seed, locking eyes with some kind of little brown bird.

It's probably a weather balloon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is a planeswalker

Pictured: G.U. playing Magic the Gathering

 She is smiling because she's about to play Darksteel Colossus.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus has a little one to call her own.

Pictured: G.U. looking at a black chorkie napping on blogger's lap.
The cuteness quotient in our household has now doubled.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus draws Muhammad.

Pictured: G.U. holding a pen and a paper with a stick figure drawing labeled "Muhammad."
Because respecting others' freedom of belief does not mean being bound by the rules of their religion.

Everybody Draw Muhammad Day may seem like an effort to pick on Muslims, but I think it makes an important point that applies across the board. I'm not going to avoid creating an image of Muhammad just because it makes a few Muslims murderously enraged or many Muslims offended. Neither am I going to avoid an abortion because it makes a few Christians murderously enraged or many Christians offended.

I find the idea that one guy can die in behalf of other people's crimes to be offensive, but I don't go into a fit of righteous indignation when people display the cross. We are all entitled to create or join ourselves to a set of beliefs that guide our lives. We are not entitled to force others to live by those beliefs.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex

The Onion is not intending to make a factual statement.

How does abortion affect African American women?

Today is the only day this video will be available for free, so jump on it now:

"Silent Choices" is about abortion and its impact on the lives of African American women. The film is a "hybrid" documentary: part historical piece, part social and religious analysis and part first-person narrative. From African Americans' cautious involvement with Margaret Sanger during the early birth control movement to black nationalists and civil rights activists who staunchly opposed abortion (or stayed silent on the issue), "Silent Choices" examines the juxtaposition of racial and reproductive politics. Three black women also share their stories of the abortions they had, including a woman's wrenching tale of the illegal procedure she endured. African Americans who oppose abortion were also interviewed, and the film wraps up with a montage of responses to a comment made by one of the pro-lifers, that abortion is a white woman's issue.
Forced-birth groups like to use African Americans' experiences to support their agenda.

Pictured: Billboard of a young black girl that reads: "The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb," with a link to
These women's experiences belong to them and do not exist to be exploited for any political ideology. Abortion has a tangled meaning to the African American community and it is not up to Whiteness to decide what it should mean to them. This video is a good opportunity for white people to sit back and listen, and for black women to hear the voices of women like them, talking about a subject that has long been considered taboo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is proud to wear hijab . . .

Pictured: G.U. wearing a purple scarf tied in the best imitation of a hijab you can make on a hairless uterus.

  . . .  as part of her spiritual identity and a way to express her bodily autonomy.

In my research preparing for this post (I learn so much in creating this blog), I discovered that one of Islam's names for God is al-Rahman, the most Merciful. This word comes from the root: rahm--meaning womb. More on feminism and Islam

Monday, May 16, 2011

Do your labia look like a starfish?

An anonymous commenter just told me about Trannymal, a decidedly NSFW site that displays images of transgender folks' genitals with googly eyes and other creative props designed to make them look like animals. Here's the gist:

Have you ever wanted to see transgender genitals, but been afraid to ask? Meet Trannymal, a transgender genital with attitude. Yes, you get to look at him – but he looks back!

“Trannymal” is a two minute short that introduces you to a whimsical creature made up of two googley eyes and one genital. Trannymal is the creation of Dylan Vade, co-founder and former co-director of the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco. Vade says: “At the Transgender Law Center, I found transgender genitals to be quite a serious subject. People are denied drivers licenses, health insurance, employment – and even murdered, because someone else has a rigid idea of what genitals are supposed to look like. Its absurd to me, to withhold rights based on genital shape. I want to change people’s minds and open their hearts, and humor can do that.”

Trannymal, who himself morphs from a snuffaluffagus to a starfish, believes in a grand multiplicity of bodies. “There are as many different transgender genitals as there are birds that fly,” says Trannymal. Abe Bernard, Trannymal’s still photographer, says “Trannymal is about respecting and honoring all bodies, starting with your own.”

“I love watching people’s reaction to Trannymal,” says Chrys Curtis-Fawley, the director of the short. “Often, there is a nervousness. But right underneath that, I see relief. A relief that this unspoken subject is moving from shame to openness and celebration.” Director of the New School of Erotic Touch, Joseph Kramer, says: “Trannymal gives you permission, permission to be fully, openly, and unapologetically yourself.” Trannymal invites you to curiosity, playfulness, kindness, and boldness.

Some people may find the idea of these images problematic, and as a cis woman, I would not attempt to gainsay any trans individual who feels so. As for my own opinion (coming from a position of cis privilege) I think that trans individuals who are able and willing to address people's curiosity are doing a valuable service for their whole community. Should they have to? Of course not. Does it help when they do? Absolutely.

In her book, Mindfulness, Professor Ellen Langer writes: “People stare at novel stimuli. When the novel stimulus is a person, however, it is culturally unacceptable to stare. Therefore, we reasoned, people may avoid those who are different in an effort to avoid the conflict between wanting to stare and feeling it inappropriate to do so.”

She tested this hypothesis by setting up a study that partnered a subject with a woman who was either pregnant, in a leg brace, or visually unexceptional. Some subjects were given the opportunity to discreetly watch this partner before meeting her. These subjects were then able to work comfortably together when introduced to her. Other subjects were immediately introduced to the partner.

The results: “Those who did not view the partner before meeting her acted more distant when she was either in a leg brace or pregnant. For example, they chose to sit farther away from her than from the 'normal' partner . . . People tend to avoid people who are 'deviant.' In contrast, however, when subjects viewed the person ahead of time and sated their curiosity, they did not sit away from the pregnant or disabled person or show other signs of avoidance. This rather straightforward experiment suggest many ways in which  encounters with people seen as different (for instance, in schools where handicapped children are 'mainstreamed') can be enhanced by providing an outlet for mindful curiosity." (pp 153-170)

This is also why many of us feel that a transgender character on Glee would be wonderful. I appreciated one comment there in particular:

I live in England, I’m 14 years old and I’m pretty sheltered. Glee has actually taught me a lot. I am a HUGE klaine supporter, but two years ago, ask me to write “slash” fanfiction, I would be unwilling and(I REALLY hate to admit it)a little repulsed. Now, it’s no big deal. Also, until several years ago, “queer” was a word used to describe the a place in my favourite book (The Secret Garden). I didn’t get why other people looked shocked or embarrased when I tried using it to describe something – it was just a piece of vocabulary I’d picked up from a classic book. I hadn’t heard the word “tranny” until under a year ago, and only through reading these posts have I realised it can be an offensive term – it was just a word some of my friends used.
What I’m trying to say is there’s a LOT of uneducated people – like me – out there, and having a transgendered person join Glee would be invaluble. it would help people actually ACSEPT them, rather than just know that you SHOULD.

The work the QLGTB movement does has made it safe to have gay characters and their stories prominently featured on popular TV shows like Glee. Hopefully the work that people like the folks at Trannymal do will make it safer to feature trans characters as well.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus has a temperature.

Pictured: G.U. in graduation cap, next to US flag and diploma case labeled Virginia Western Community College.

I mean a degree. I got one too:

Pictured: author in graduation garb with diploma case.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus visits the delivery room . . .

Pictured: G.U. at a pizza joint with an open pizza box.
. . . but opts for carry-out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is on a horse.

Pictured: G.U. being held on the back of a bridled horse in halter and lead rope, held in front of a banner that reads: "Healing Strides of Virginia [???] Lives . . . One Stride at a Time."

Look at your uterus, now back at me. Now imagine the kinds of looks I get when I ask people if I can take photos like these.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus calls her mom.

Pictured: G.U. holding a cell phone.
And thanks her for being a feminist.

This post is dedicated to my mother, who somehow gets awesomer every day, despite the fact that Blogger does not seem to think that awesomer is even a word. Screw you, Blogger. My mom lives it.

A Mother's Day wish I can get behind.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus loves her clam.

Pictured: G.U. on a table with a wide-eyed, crocheted clam in front of her.
If I were a knitter, I would make a joke about purling.

Want your own clam?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is a teacher's pet.

Pictured: G.U. sits on the base of a white board next to a teacher writing on it.
At least zie's got class.

It's teacher appreciation week. Show your teachers some love.

p.s. I'm a teacher.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus gets checked out.

Pictured: G.U. on a patient's chair next to a book titled "Urogynecology."

·         Or checked up. And she got a photo with a poster of one of her idols:

Pictured: On clicking, G.U. in front of a poster picturing different aspects of the female reproductive system.