bigotry

Well intentioned, but unworkable: the NUS and cross-dressing

Genderqueer_pride_flagMuch has been said in the last few days about the NUS banning crossdressing from UK campuses. This is of course a massive overstatement. The offending resolution, passed at the NUS Women’s conference 2015, merely states that the conference should “issue a statement condemning cross-dressing as a mode of fancy dress”.

Reactions to the resolution have been largely negative (I had to go to a place no one should ever have to go – page six of Google’s search results – to find a blog post in favour of it) and a good  portion of that has been of the oh-won’t-someone-think-of-the-poor-straight-cis-men variety, which is just, y’know, *eyeroll*.

Here is the offending article in full. You can read a .pdf of the document here.

 con believes

The intent of the resolution is to decrease transphobia, but as the saying goes, intent is not magic, and the wording here is far from perfect. You do not have to search for long to find a slew of evidence supporting the assertion (noted under the heading ‘conference believes’) that trans and non-binary people are routinely denigrated in popular culture. This is categorically something we should work to end. Should cisgender men dress as women or, worse, ape hurtful and harmful trans* stereotypes with the sole intention of mockery? Obviously not. It’s tasteless, unoriginal verging on boring and it contributes to a culture of misogyny, trans- and whorephobia. It’s emphatically a good idea to ask people to consider their motivations when they cross-dress for entertainment. Likewise, it’s a good idea to promote sensitivity towards gender difference and acknowledge how our actions might contribute to a culture of transphobia and misogyny. But should we legislate against it? Well… no. Or at least, not like this.
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Janis Hetherington SPECIAL: "WTF, Dolce & Gabbana?"

syringesJanis Hetherington was the first UK woman in an openly same-sex couple to be artificially inseminated. Unsurprisingly, she saw fit to have a few words about the Dolce & Gabbana debacle…

So I’m sat here surrounded by voluminous column inches about sproglets. Not your any common or garden sprogs but those requiring a lickle bit of nuture against nature as I do each spring in my greenhouse. Selective breeding so to speak. Making sure my pelargoniums do not conspire with my super-white geraniums and breed a puce variety that will alarm my bedding scheme.

All very acceptable at Chelsea Flower Show and especially amongst the giant veg brigade spiking each others entries with unspeakable wraths come the late Summer shows BUT we are talking about humankind here and selective breeding as we all know is the strict realm of toffs and warlords. So wot’s up DOC? Well Doc is indeed guilty of test tube conspiracy. Oh! What does go on in those breeding dishes that gobble up our defective genes?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh Genes? Well actually jeans or rather non jeans. Do Dolce & Gabbana possess or progress 501s? Of course it is the other genes they’ve made pronouncement about and upset poor old Elton and Martina (those icons of all things mildly or even vermillion pinky) to such an extent that boycotts and burnings at the stake are threatened throughout pinkdom and even faghaggerydom.
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Biscuit shares panel with asylum seeker Aderonke Apata

B_gFI4IU8AIb5O5.jpg_largeLast weekend, Biscuit’s editor-in-chief Lottie was privileged enough to join a panel of inspiring lesbian and bisexual woman at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation’s Sugar and Spice event. One of these was Nigerian Aderonke Apata, who is fighting to stay in the country in light of a Home Office ruling that she cannot be a lesbian because she has children and has been in heterosexual relationships.

Apata appeared in the High Court last week to challenge the Home Office’s decision to refuse her asylum. During the hearing, Home Secretary barrister Andrew Bird insisted that she was simply someone who had “indulged in same-sex activity”. “You can’t be a heterosexual one day and a lesbian the next day,” he asserted.”Just as you can’t change your race.” Apata was told that the results of her appeal would arrive at the end of the month. Outside the court, Apata fell into the arms of her wife-to-be, Happiness Agboro.

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Biscuit’s Lottie Dingle joins Aderonke Apata on a Lesbian and Gay Foundation panel

Apata’s story is a harrowing one. When Apata’s family found out she had a female partner, they dragged her to a Sharia court to be stoned for adultery. A “legal technicality” gave her the time she needed to flee to England. After she left, her female partner of 20 years was killed by vigilantes.
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