Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Romeo Smells of Roses

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  • Isabel Hitchings,

    My birth-certificate has a space for the father's occupation and the mother's maiden name - interesting considering that my mother was back at work when I was six weeks old and my father spent five years working from home and taking care of me. My kids' birth certificates list neither of parent's occupations and have spaces for any other names either of us may have borne.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 690 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Take an article, and replace problematic identifiers (terrorists, gang members, beneficiaries, you get the idea) with the word 'people'. Here's a randomly-chosen example from Stuff's world news today:

    People backed by jets and helicopter gunships have begun an offensive against people in a valley just 100 km northwest of the capital, Islamabad, part of a new campaign to halt the rapid advance of people. The people's spokesman Athar Abbas said he expected it would take up to a week to clear an estimated 500 people from Buner district.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    And then there are the ones that have a space for the occupation of the father, but not the mother

    My 1982 NZ birth certificate has no space for my Mother's occupation, but it's typed in there anyway, over the top of the next bit of text. Can't do that on a web form.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    So that toaster-oven thing was only for lesbians? Damn.

    And so 1982! We've moved on, you know. Ipods are the new toaster oven. :)

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • icehawk,

    Plus, enumerating. Who gets to be #1?

    Mister Black

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    One of the small sadnesses of being an outfront asexual - amongst quite a lot of joy - has been the reaction of the ANZ LGBT groups towards asexuals. As in, total cold shoulder.

    Names have power indeedy, and learning that you are not a solus weird mutant, but part of (about) 1.5% of humanity is wholly empowering. And, additionally, learning that this is not just a human
    quirk, but turns up in other mammals means (for me) that there is some kind of evolutionary benefit to asexualism (and please - pre-empting a certain kind of reply - I probably know rather more than anyone out there about asexual & non-sexual reproduction.)

    People is the good all-inclusive word...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    So that toaster-oven thing was only for lesbians? Damn.

    Can't be. Craig has one.

    ...the reaction of the ANZ LGBT groups towards asexuals. As in, total cold shoulder.

    I'm seeing GLITTFAB around a bit these days, which is almost inclusive enough to get the heterosexuals complaining about being left out.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Mrs Skin, havent encountered that acronym - yet.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    As an acronym it does start to get a bit lumpy. Michael Stevens' somewhat grumpy analysis here.

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    And that analysis is precisely what ANZ asexuals have encountered.
    Any transgression of percieved sexual norms is still treated hasrhly here: I cant count the number of times I've been hit with variants of "Well, what the fuck are yer?" There have have been two attempted rapes, both by males (I'm big & hefty and *very* able to use whatever weapon is to hand (a rock, and thumbs to eyeballs in those incidents.)
    It is sad that Michael Stevens is unable to recognise that asexuals face discrimination, sexual attacks, the whole bejeebus - but on his head be it.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Any transgression of percieved sexual norms is still treated hasrhly here

    Yeah, I wonder sometimes if we haven't just expanded the 'norm' - so we have people who are accepting of gays and lesbians but a bit dubious about whether bis are for real, disconcerted by trans people, and who simply never think about asexuals - often if someone demonstrates low sex drive, they're assumed to be gay/lesbian. Then there are the jokes and disbelief around any mention of disabled sexuality...

    And there've been a couple of times I've had to explain to very lovely liberal people that trans is NOT a sexual orientation.

    But y'know, I'd hate to get to a point where we were all so scared of accidentally offending someone by wording something wrong that we just ended up never talking about these issues.

    Names have power indeedy, and learning that you are not a solus weird mutant, but part of (about) 1.5% of humanity is wholly empowering.

    I felt this way on 'discovering' bisexuality - that there were in fact lots of people like me, and I wasn't a confused lesbian or a straight attention seeker. Then there's the associated garbage and expectations that come with the label. Most of the time, though, I don't think of my sexuality by its label, but just part of who I am. I really identified with another statement made by that last blogger I link to up there:

    generally when people try to have conversations with me about what precisely I identify as, I mostly just want to throw up all over them instead of giving a list of identities I claim. I am an awesomely unique snowflake and I cannot be contained by words!

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Cool last quote!
    When people ask me,these days, "What are yer?" I reply, "Me."
    And when - it comes up often, "O, you're not normal" - I can now respond, "Nup, but I'm natural."

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It is sad that Michael Stevens is unable to recognise that asexuals face discrimination, sexual attacks, the whole bejeebus - but on his head be it.

    That column is like he's contrived to give the appearance of thinking, but actually isn't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • kowhai montgomery,

    And then there are the ones that have a space for the occupation of the father, but not the mother

    My 1982 NZ birth certificate has no space for my Mother's occupation, but it's typed in there anyway, over the top of the next bit of text. Can't do that on a web form.,

    Love it. Love it. Love it.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 481 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Plus, enumerating. Who gets to be #1?

    I spent 2 weeks on exchange at a school where there were two classes per year, denoted "A" and "\alpha".

    Cute solution, although I suppose one is still going to be listed first. Mandatory coin toss?

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    My 1982 NZ birth certificate has no space for my Mother's occupation, but it's typed in there anyway, over the top of the next bit of text. Can't do that on a web form.

    Little Bobby Tables, we call him.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 450 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Actually, you know who gets to be as politically incorrect as all get-out?

    Old dykes.

    It's all fun and games, until a young queer comes along, brings the prissy and someone loses an eye.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Docherty,

    Labels - tags - xkcd

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    Two things struck me as I read this column, one being Emma's general awesomness

    The other is how it links to work by Noam Chomsky and John Pilger (I can't remember what bit to attribute to who) about how control of the media leads to control of the words used to describe people ie freedom fighter versus terrorist etc. Which in turn helps shape public awareness and debate on issues.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 194 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    The other is how it links to work by Noam Chomsky and John Pilger (I can't remember what bit to attribute to who) about how control of the media leads to control of the words used to describe people

    I remember years back seeing an interview with a retiring BBC Middle East correspondent, saying basically that everyone at the Beeb knew 'caught in the crossfire' meant 'shot by the IDF'.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I've been doing a bit of research on Muhammad Ali and in terms of blasting through the conventions of his time and being politically incorrect in the eyes of the establishment, and carrying on regardless, he is astonishing. This is the man who openly declared he had joined the Nation of Islam a mere two days after winning the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in 1964, changed his 'slave' name Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali a week later, refused the draft to go fight in Vietnam and was stripped of his title, challenged the treatment of black Americans and the neo-colonial exploitation of the Third World (several of his fights were staged in Africa or Asia to raise awareness) and bragged he was 'the Greatest'.

    He was called an "uppity nigger", "a sad apology for a man", "the most disgusting character in memory to appear on the sports scene" and "possibly the greatest embarrassment to the USA that sport has ever produced" by the press and politicians at the time. His reputation has been redeemed since, of course.

    Can you imagine any sports star today defying the status quo and being so 'out there'?

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I'm compelled to point to George Carlin's bit on Ali and the draft in Class Clown (1972, audio only)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    And so 1982! We've moved on, you know. Ipods are the new toaster oven. :)

    A couple of my ex-girlfriends "converted" after our relationships ended. I'll take the ipod please, no rush on delivery.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    Kyle, I don't think you quite understand the rules... But we thank you for playing :)

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    What? Discrimination! I made my own scorecard and everything!

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

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