AI: Are we still debating this?


With the recent political moves against birth control and other sex-negative and anti-woman language happening in American politics and media lately, the most common question I have heard from friends has been "Really? Are we still talking about this?" Years after the issues have been settled for many in a personal way, they appear to be unsettled in our public discussions.

So I wonder:

What issues around gender and sexuality are you surprised we're still talking about in 2012? Have you found yourself startled that people still find things controversial that you thought we'd settled in our public discourse?

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  1. Oddly enough, I found myself in a conversation recently about whether women enjoy sex very much. I was trying to gently break the news to a moderately inebriated fellow that maybe it was just his relationship with his wife that was the issue, rather than women in general.
    Relatedly, there's the slut/stud double standard. I'm starting to get the feeling that my personal circle of friends was unusually enlightened about some of these things, because until recently I didn't realize how common this double standard was among people who can't even give any reasons for it.

  2. All of them? I'm in my mid-30s, and have been involved or interested in social justice and feminism/queer activism in some form since my early teens, and while in some ways I can see progress, in other ways it feels like we've taken significant steps BACK since the '90s when I was all fired up. It's amazing to me that elevator-gate happened, all sparked because Rebecca basically said "Guys, don't do that." I'm frustrated that the Michigan Womyn's festival is still as behind the times as it was 10 years ago when my trans co-workers were discussing it. I get frustrated that Toronto Pride was at risk of losing its funding in part because it was seen as "too political" even by members of the queer community while at the same time people of colour, trans people, and people with disabilities are shouting loudly that it isn't political enough.
    I feel like a lot of us rested on our laurels after we gained some key victories 10-20 years ago, and that now that the white affluent gay male is relatively comfortable, all the hard work is done. I get that people want to enjoy their accompishments, but its frustrating that it takes so little time to forget about the people still left behind.

  3. I feel weird when people discut transpeople. Are they really really gays? Are they what gender they were assigned at birth?
    Also, that men may have a "low libido" (i.e, not harrassing women) is hard to say…
    And that gay men should all be effeminate (and that's there is such a thing as a gaydar)
    And that women HAVE to shave to be women, otherwise, they're lesbians (who are… not women???)

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