Thursday Round-Up

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Last round-up got a bit long, and I still had so much to share… So here’s more fun! Is Thursday Dysphoria recognized in DSM-5? Are all women mentally ill? Stuff you (maybe) didn’t know about women’s sexuality and health.
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Women's Health

Are menstrual symptoms a sign of mental illness?

The American Psychiatric Association wants to add PMS — or what they’re calling Premenstrual Disphoric Disorder — to the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5.

'cause women are not stigmatized nearly enough by PMS....

Admittedly, when they say it, it sounds kinda worse than plain-old PMS. But basically, what they are saying is that if you feel depressed or irritable or anxious or tense, or otherwise have mood swings before your period starts, you have a mental disorder.

Which essentially means that being a woman who menstruates is pretty much equivalent to being mentally ill.

 Read the proposed DSM addition here.

Could DSM-5 Be Harmful to Your Mental Health?

The DSM, which has never been particularly free of controversy, is coming under increased attack, especially in view of many proposals and modifications that are more and more widely being viewed as detrimental to the health of children, women, and the elderly.

The DSM is a strange kind of double sword: Its largely unscientific definitions can be used as a basis for taking away people’s rights — such as forcing them into institutions, onto medication, stigmatizing them, etc. On the other hand, when they recently redefined what autism is, for example, they ensured that a whole lot of people would now be excluded from being able to receive care.

Among the changes to expect in the next DSM:

  • Gender Identity Disorder will become Gender Dysphoria.The revisions are intended to address concerns of social stigma while still protecting insurance coverage. The proposed update is getting mixed reviews in the transgender community.“We support the change of name,” says Lin Fraser, president-elect of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). “WPATH believes that gender variance is not in and of itself pathological, and that having a cross-gender identity does not constitute a psychiatric ‘disorder.’” Others feel that no matter the name, a diagnosis that casts one’s identity as an illness should not be in the manual to begin with.
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  • Binge Eating Disorder is now a recognized disorder, as is Hoarding Disorder; and Hypersexual Disorder is listed in the appendix.
  • Mental Retardation will now be renamed Intellectual Developmental Disorder

In this article, Elayne Clift discusses why DSM-5 might be bad for our health, and talks about the calls to boycott it.

The Female Orgasm

And to a topic that is much more fun… This French documentary attempts to explain the intricacies of the female orgasm, which apparently remains a mystery to many (too many… :) )

And I find it particularly cool that the video was made available for viewing by passengers on Qantas flights!

Clitoris Mapping

Until 2009, no one in medicine or science had mapped the human clitoris. (In spite of extensive mapping done of the male sexual organ since the 1970s.) In effect, no one really knew what it looks like, how it functions, or much at all, and that’s the point. Cuz what you can see and probably know as the clitoris is really just the visible tip of quite an amazing organ.

 Read all about it ♥

The Weekly Trope

So, this isn’t really a trope. But it’s a cool website in spite of the genderized name: Fametracker’s Hey! It’s That Guy shows you who all those actors are that you recognize on TV but are not famous enough to know their names. Well, it’s an old site, some have become quite famous since…

And many of these actors do represent popular tropes.

Thursday Round-Up

It’s another round-up! Today: gender & bullying, gender & socialization, little girl rant, penis mom, tropes, and did I mention a new favorite blog? If you don’t think this one is crazy brilliant, you can get your money back.

Queer Politics

Psychiatry in Israel 2011: Homosexuality is a disease that can be cured

Some forty years after the removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders, and 20 years after its removal from the WHO IC-10 list, an Israeli psychiatry reference book (university textbook) describes homosexuality as a disease treatable by conversion therapy.

Gender & Bullying

Here is one amazing teacher’s approach to preventing gender bullying.

And together with that – because boys are still more important: Anti-bullying campaigns and the erasure of sexism.

And an interesting note: When I was putting this post together I went to Google to look for images. I started with “gender bullying”. I got images of girls bullying boys, and some of girls bullying girls. Some of the boys looked genderqueer to me, and I thought that might be a good angle – so I went looking for genderqueer images. But losing focus on the erasure of sexism bothered me. So this time, I looked up “boy bullying girl”. Again, I got lots of images of girls bullying boys, and a few of girls bullying girls.

In the end, I could not find one single image that was real, or even real-looking, of a boy (or boys) bullying a girl. Not one.
(Just some cutesy braid-pulling stock images).

Truly, it seems that boys never harass girls. Must’ve been a figment of my imagination. And that girls are the only bullies out there [puke icon].

Gender & Socialization

Socialization of little girls: 

One little girl’s rant about girl stuff and boy stuff:
(Riley for prez…!)

And women’s socialization: 

Culture & Media

The weekly Trope:

This week, three “queer” tropes that particularly annoy me.

Sweeps Week Girl on Girl Kiss

This one is actually losing steam these days, but remember what happened when Roseanne kissed Sharon?

Sorry, I’m Gay

Though meant to be gender neutral, it’s usually a guy trying to get away from a girl. When two women are together, somehow that doesn’t deter men – they just ask for a threesome.

I saw just this scenario on Rizzoli & Isles (please don’t ask why I was watching that…). Three notes: Indeed, used by a woman. But — they were extremely uncomfortable about it, squirmy, and inexplicit. So they “hugged”. Meh. Then — predictably — the guy (soul mate?) asked for a threesome.

Token Lesbian

The token lesbian in a cast of gay men

Blog Pick of the Week

Best for last? Check out this blog. You will not regret it!

Hyperbole and a half

Some of my favorite posts:

God of Cake

Party

This Is Why I’ll Never Be An Adult

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Thursday Round-Up

Personal and work pressures make it difficult to be as focused as I’d like on my pet topics. But these great blogs and articles keep coming my way, so I thought I’d share some. If it works out I’ll do it regularly.

Gender Violence

Dear Abby, Thank You for Saving My Life

December 6 was Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, held each year on the anniversary of the 1989 École Polytechnique Massacre, where 14 young women were killed for being women.

In this moving post, Marvelist shares her own story and her thoughts on Canada’s decreasing support for gender equality.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an annual international campaign that runs from November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women, to December 10, International Human Rights Day. Over 2000 organizations in 154 countries have participated in the campaign.

I wanted to post this before the 16 days were over… Oh well. It’s worth noting anyway.

  • Nobel Women’s Round-UpIf you click on nothing else, DO check out the Nobel Women’s Initiative 16 Days of Activism blog: Each day features another amazing woman activist from a different part of the world: Palestine and Israel and the Congo and Iran and South America… Well, there are a lot of amazing women out there!!

  • And here is a great initiative that runs during the 16 days, aimed at encouraging girls and women to take control of technology and end violence.
    Take Back The Tech
From The Queer Activist Blogosphere

The Social Justice League’s blog post Fauxgress Watch: “Born This Way” examines why it is actually detrimental to queer folk to use the argument “we were born this way” or “being queer is not a choice!” as a justification for seeking rights/equality.

Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Of course, I had several tearful moments watching three women accept the Nobel Peace Prize. Women from areas fraught with violence, who were brave enough to find their personal power, raise their voices, become leaders, and make a change.

Heifer International – an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty – opine that these three women can start a movement.

Culture & Media

Deconstructing the Bechdel test

Ana Mardoll discusses what the Bechdel test is actually for.

Rethinking the Strong Female Character

Feminist literary blog Canonball’s thought-provoking post on why we might want to rethink what Hollywood considers to be strong female characters.

The weekly Trope

I will love and/or curse my lovely friend L. forever for getting me hooked on TV Tropes. Today’s trope: Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male

And of course, the “shocking” discovery that rapists and men’s magazines sound suspiciously alike

An investment manager’s email asking for a second date 

This email had me laughing out loud in my office. There are a LOT of responses, but so many of them are just so hysterical it’s worth scrolling around a while.

In Israel

Israeli former president, Moshe Katsav, finally begins his prison sentence for rape!

This New Yorker blog post gives a quick history of the case.

How our fearless leaders REALLY see women (without their uniforms!!)

But sexism is still rife at the top of Israel’s government and military, as evidenced by the “joke” – caught on tape – in which Defense Minister Ehud Barak and army Chief of Staff Benny Ganz objectify female soldiers and one of the minister’s own media team. These two senior men then threaten the press if they release the tape.

Murder of Mustafa Tamimi

I began this as an item in my roundup, and it grew, and grew… So this horrible episode got its own post.