Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sexual and gender harassment still prevalent part of teen girls’ lives

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but 90 percent of teen girls experience sexual harassment and sexism a new study reported earlier this week.

study that will appear in the May/June issue of the journal Child Development surveyed 600 California and Georgia girls between the ages of 12 and 18 from various socioeconomic backgrounds found when girls were asked about sexual harassment that included receiving inappropriate and unwanted romantic attention, hearing demeaning gender-related comments, being teased about their appearance, receiving unwanted physical contact, and being teased, bullied, or threatened with harm by a male that sexism and sexual and gender harassment are still alive and well.

"Sexism remains pervasive in the lives of adolescent girls," said Campbell Leaper, professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and co-author of the report in a
May 15 news release. "Most girls have experienced all three types of sexism--sexual harassment, sexist comments about their academic abilities, and sexist comments about their athletic abilities."

Leaper conducted the study with Christia Spears Brown, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky.

In spite of the advancements girls have made since Title IX passed 35 years ago, girls continue to report common discouragement about their abilities due to their gender, particularly in traditional subjects such as athletics, math, science, and technology. Seventy-six percent of the girls said they received discouraging comments about their abilities in sports, and 52 percent said they received discouraging comments related to their academic abilities in science, math, or computers. In most cases the sources of the negative comments were from male peers, which Leaper said, “is both understandable and sad. Parents, teachers, and coaches weren’t perfect with their lack of encouraging remarks either, according to the release.

Leaper focused on these areas because traditionally there has been a persistent gender gap, according to the release.

"Our findings on sexual harassment are, sadly, consistent with previous research," said Leaper. "But on the other hand, most girls said they experienced sexual harassment at least once, as opposed to several times."

The fact that girls are experiencing less sexism and harassment and hearing fewer discouraging remarks based on their gender is encouraging, but as other studies have revealed sexism and sexual and gender harassment often go unreported. Age, race, lower socioeconomic backgrounds and exposure to feminism also made a difference in how many girls reported sexism and sexual harassment, according to the release. Feminism, the report found, aided the girls in being able to recognize sexism and sexual and gender harassment.

But being aware of sexism doesn't predispose girls to overreport it, noted Leaper.

"We know from previous studies that people tend to underreport discrimination," said Leaper. "After Anita Hill, reports of sexual harassment increased dramatically in the United States, because it gave people a label for their experience. So, if anything, sexism is probably occurring more than the girls in this study are saying it is. Our research suggests that parents, teachers, and the media can help girls to learn about discrimination and recognize when it occurs."

To learn where girls can get tools to fight sexism and sexual harassment, visit the Third Wave Foundation, a volunteer young feminist organization for girls between the ages 15-35.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kate’s childhood bi crush

In an interview with E! Kate Blanchett revealed crushes on both Harrison Ford and Karen Allen when she was growing up.

“Huge fan, huge fan, drooling fan,” said Blanchett. “I had an equal crush on Karen Allen. I thought the two of them together was electric.”

Blanchett looks dominatrix deliciously evil in the fourth installment in the adventure series.

Lady Liberty Kissing Lady Justice

A friend forwarded this image to me this morning and I couldn't resist posting it. I don't know who the graphic artist is, but this is one hot picture!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Congratulations Ellen and Portia!

If you haven’t heard the news yet, funny lady and afternoon TV host Ellen DeGeneres proposed to longtime girlfriend, Portia de Rossi, of Ally McBeal fame and now Nip/Tuck.

I’m sure we will all hear more same-sex celeb wedding bells soon now that California’s Supreme Court open the golden gate for marriage equality May 15.
Photo is courtesy AP Photo/Chris Weeks, FILE

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rebel rousing bi Irish author dies

San Francisco – Bisexual Irish journalist and bestselling author of "Are You Somebody? The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman," Nuala O’Faolain, 68, died of cancer May 10 at the Balackrock Hospice in Dublin, Ireland, the Washington Post reported today.

O’Faolain lead an extraordinary life, reported Patricia Sullivan in “
Nuala O'Faolain; Irish Writer Illuminated Female Isolation,” that included a 15-year relationship with female journalist, Nell McCafferty, among relationships with men. All of her relationships ended, according to the article, she never married nor had children. Nevertheless, O’Faolain (pronounced Noo-la O-fway-lon) lead an extraordinary career that took her from radio and television to print and finally to bestselling author. She also kept impressive company with a circle of friends that included filmmaker John Huston, Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh, and English writer Kingsley Amis.

O’Faolain, the second oldest of nine children, is survived by six of her siblings, Sullivan reported, two of her brothers died of alcoholism.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bi Mama takes over Hip Mama

San Francisco – Kerlin Richter, a bisexual married mother, took over as head mama of
Hip Mama magazine today, reported Portland-based Just Out magazine.

Ariel Gore, who founded the left-of-center parenting magazine, Hip Mama, as a senior project at Mills College in Oakland, California nearly 18 years ago and kicked off the third wave feminist mothering movement, has matured and is allowing the child she birthed and nurtured (figuratively and literally) leave the nest. Gore’s daughter, Maia, is now 18-years old and Gore herself has moved on to other projects, such as teaching writing at The Attic Writers’ Workshop in Portland and writing well books about writing, such as How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights (2007) and a memoir Atlas of the Human Heart: A Memoir (2003).

Gore, authored three parenting guides:
The Hip Mama Survival Guide : Advice from the Trenches on Pregnancy, Childbirth, Cool Names, Clueless Doctors, Potty Training and Toddler Avengers (1998); The Mother Trip: Hip Mama's Guide to Staying Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood (2000); Whatever, Mom: Hip Mama's Guide to Raising a Teenager (2004); and edited two anthologies by and about third wave feminist parents: Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers (2001) and The Essential Hip Mama: Writing from the Cutting Edge of Parenting (2004) during her tenure giving birth and raising Hip Mama.

Richter, reported Just Out, was a Hip Mama volunteer and a “fellow writer.” Currently, she is pursuing a master’s of theology degree at Marylhurst University, creating multimedia art, and raising her son. She plans to honor Hip Mama’s values and vision as a progressive parenting magazine, according to the article.

Full disclosure: I am a contributor to Just Out magazine. You can see my upcoming article about LGBT parenting in the May 16 issue of Just Out magazine.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Altcinema presents


Film screening - FtF: Female to Femme, with short film The Insomniacs

Lecture - "A Brief History of Femme" by FtF co-director, Kami Chisholm, Ph.D.A benefit for Altcinema Productions
Saturday May 24, 20087:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Tickets: $12 advance, $15 -$100 at the door
San Francisco LGBT Community Center
1800 Market Street, San Francsico
Come out and support queer cinema!
Purchase tickets online at

For more information or to volunteer, please contact or 415.863.2183.

About FtF: Female to Femme (directed by Kami Chisholm and Elizabeth Stark, Frameline Distribution, 48 min., 2006):

Imagine a world in which the journey toward femme was understood to be as radical as journeys to claim and inhabit other queer bodies. Envisioning more than it documents, FtF: FEMALE TO FEMME celebrates dyke femme identities, combining farce and seduction with analysis and personal history. For years, femmes have forged community and created space for themselves out of edgy performance and authentic parody. FtF recognizes these strategies and builds them into an unforgettable sexy, funny and moving film. FtF features a host of fabulous femmes, including actress/writer Guinivere Turner, novelist/activist Jewelle Gomez, poet Meliza BaƱales, rock stars Leslie Mah (Tribe8) and Bitch (Bitch & Animal), professors, activists, artists and dancers. The filmmakers ask these thinkers and performers to use the language of gender transition to talk about femme identity, opening up new possibilities for understanding femininity while reinforcing connections among gender warriors around the world. A wildly original extravaganza, FtF: FEMALE TO FEMME presents a saucy, indelible portrait of a people and a politics central to the gender revolution.

Plus, the new butch-femme romantic comedy, THE INSOMNIACS (directed by Kami Chisholm, 11 min.,2008): Bell has insomnia. So one restless night, she decides to go to the local Insomniac's Anonymous 3 a.m. meeting, and there she meets Helena, the girl of her waking dreams.

About Dr. Kami Chisholm:
Kami Chisholm, founder of Altcinema, holds a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from UC Santa
Cruz and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University's Film Production department. FtF: FEMALE TO FEMME, Chisholm's first (co-directed) feature documentary, premiered in June 2006 at Frameline30: The San Francisco International LGBT Festival. In 2007, Chisholm produced and co-edited the festival hit GODSPEED, a short about a trans bike messenger directed by Lynn Breedlove and Jen Gilomen. Chisholm is also the director of over 10 short films, including the recently completed romantic comedy, THE INSOMNIACS. Currently, Chisholm teaches feminist/queer/race theory, sexuality studies, and visual culture at California College of the Arts.
Purchase tickets online for QUEER(Y)ING FEMME at