31 December 2013 @ 09:37 pm
Book Challenge 2013  
Book challenge 2013 round-up. I seriously hope that my editor will allow me to post this without empty lines.

50 books this year )

Half-assed statistics:
Male Authors: 28
Female Authors: 22
New books: 35
Old books: 15
01 July 2012 @ 01:11 am
Bunker Valentin  
The "U-Boot Bunker Valentin" is a gigantic submarine pen and shipyard in the north of Bremen built by 10-12,000 forced labourers who were prisoners of the concentration camp Bremen-Farge. It cost the lives of over 2,000 people, was never finished and damaged by an air raid in 1945. Today half of it is a memorial, the other half is a ruin. We only walked around it, but we're going to be back for a look at the exhibit inside for more information on its construction. 

Aerial shot from Wiki demonstrating the stupendous size of this madness: 

Read more... )
01 March 2011 @ 01:44 pm
I need div-ed remedial lessons  
"The majority of people are white, so what's wrong with them being on billboards in the majority of cases?"

A work/friend of mine recently showed her class extracts from Blue Eyed and subsequently discussed a scene in it in which a billboard with a good-looking white, middle-aged and obviously affluent couple are shown. Pretty much unanimously, the class came to the above conclusion. Now, statistically this seems to be true, but srsly. We'd like them to knoy what's problematic about that statement, but are at a loss on how to achieve that. What I could come up with on the fly was:

1.) To ask them if they think that these billboards should show people who represent the national average of what people look like (I'm assuming here that that'll not be a very good-looking, affluent, elderly white couple) and why this isn't on it if they want the majority represented.

2.) To ask why there has to be a couple at all on this product, and if this product is only for white married elderly people.

Basically to make clear that this is a constructed norm and make them think of ways in which this is harmful - because what happens if you don't belong to that norm? Maybe also showing them quote by Adrienne Rich might help a bit, too: 

"When those who have the power to name and to socially construct reality choose not to see you or hear you ... when someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked in the mirror and saw nothing. It takes some strength of soul—and not just individual strength, but collective understanding—to resist this void, this non-being, into which you are thrust, and to stand up, demanding to be seen and heard."

So yeah, grasping a straws here.

Help, oh wise flist?
Current Mood: confused
28 January 2011 @ 05:43 pm
It depresses me that this is good news.  
First, what I suppose passes for good news under the circumstances over here, even though it was really about time - now it's possible to get a registered partnership with your spouse without additional surgical requirements in Germany.

The rest of the law, however.

Oh, God, dear God, why
. Trigger warning: legal transfail )

EDIT: looks like they did suspend the sterilization-paragraph entirely? The German article I read on this was fucking confusing. Also, my pidgin-knowledge of legalese doesn't mix well with my headcold. I thought this only applied in cases in which otherwise a registered partnership was not possible, but it looks as though it's suspended until it's been reviewed, which would be incredibly awesome, and also about motherfucking time.
Current Mood: gloomy
26 January 2011 @ 08:46 pm
"Can anyone tell me anything about what people used to write on in the thirteenth and fourteenth century?"
"They used to carve things in stone."
"... In the thirteenth century, they took notes by carving them in stone...?"
"Well, yes. Until they started to print books."

This person?

NOT writing on this guy's head.
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Music: Palästinalied
Current Mood: amused
20 January 2011 @ 05:33 pm
Look, we've got idiots, too!  
I always feel bad for laughing so much and so gleefully at US idiots and being glad that we didn't have many comparable people over here, but now I can proudly present this guy. A person who thinks that Jewish people are smarter because of genes and Muslims are lazy and stupid and it's impossible to integrate them, among many other points that make the mind boggle.

He decided it'd be a good idea to give a BBC interview. If I can be bothered I'll supply choice quotes later.
  • "The lack of economic and integrational success of the Damascan people are due to cultural features which are due to the Muslim faith."
  • "Most of them [Arabs and Turkish people] don't feel discriminated against."
  • "If you're discriminated against if you wear a headscarf that's your own choice. [...] You could as well live in the United States or in Turkey." 
  • "The Turkish woman which lives in Germany told me some weeks ago, 'Please don't take these mental aggravations seriously, oriental people tend to play with their emotions and love to raise guilt in others.'" 
  • "I have alienated nobody. I have just stated facts, and that's alienating nobody."
  • "I think if the United States would be better off if they were careful with having two different languages in one country."
So, to sum up, we have a powerful white male German saying, "You Muslims are stupid underachieving welfare leeches, possibly because of genetics, but I'm going to mumble a bit over that point. If you're discriminated against, you're exaggerating because of your emotional nature or have chosen the bed you lie in and are welcome to move to another country if you don't like that. Gee, why don't you people integrate better and insist on keeping to yourselves?"
Current Mood: aghast
14 September 2010 @ 07:46 pm
Reality check  
The following are the categories in the children's section of the nearest Hannover city library (and I quote): 

- Fantasy
- Action
- Crime
- Reality
- Romance.

Yeah. I don't know. Fantasy and action, sure, but reality?? Really? (That's where they put the books on WWII, drugs, child pregnancy and life in the GDR. Reality is depressing in Germany. Romance is a redundant category, because every book I looked at in the other categories had a pretty prominent romance plot, yuck. Kissing books, man).

Am I happy about that because it means no one will have to go through the trouble of teaching the kids these words at school, or am I worried for the future of my mother tongue?
Current Mood: annoyed
02 August 2010 @ 07:24 pm
  • Bionic legs! So cool!

  • We can all live real healthily on €160/month (German), for those of you who don't know yet. Oh, we're also all male, so forget money for tampons or cosmetics (we do shave, so we get the razors), and we don't have sex, so no contraceptives (or do we use free condoms? Not sure...). Go us! I kinda want to try this next month to see if I can really pull it off (a visit to the hairdresser apparently costs €7, so does the membership fee for the library, should we get bored. We could also go to the zoo for €2,50 (lawl) or to the swimming pool for €1,50. Should we get hungry, we can always fill up on fresh grapefruits that are available for purchase at a price of €0,99/kg, or on apples for €0,76/kg. Why work if all these luxuries are so readily available?)
Current Mood: aggravated
20 May 2010 @ 06:08 pm
I took my first class in of the very short introductory course on German Sign Language that Crocky's uni's offering today, and it was awesome. Hard, though, because I missed the first class. It's only a very basic class for beginners and we won't get further than basic introductions and easy sentences, but it definitely leaves me wanting more. There are also a few really good resources online, too, like the German Sign Language dictionary, and I also very much like the look of Signing Savvy, which I wish were available in DGS.

Given our oralist past, it's not surprising that there is more material online, though. Most of my linguistics lecturer's deaf DGS teachers were forbidden to sign in class at their school back in the day. If they did sign, which the hearing teachers would interpret as being fidgety and not paying attention, they'd go so far as to tie their hands behind their backs.

Signing in general was frowned upon, the teachers couldn't speak DGS, as the central idea was to train them how to to lip-read instead, as DGS wasn't recognised as a language at all.

Until, oh, 2002 or so.

Go, Germany.
15 May 2010 @ 02:13 pm
Some expanded thoughts on Homeschooling - I still don't like the idea of legalising it here  
Recently, dear [ profile] daharyn pointed out that my view of homeschooling may be too simple, and I gave the matter some thought, but I still didn't get any further, and I still can't agree with legalising it. I'm no expert on this, as it's outlawed in Germany and I've been more interested in trying to find ways to adapt the methods and qualities that makes homeschooling so successful for some students for teaching in a public school. Homeschooling, at least as understand it, is not so much a correspondence course done at home (which I think is an option that ought to be open for more people and state funded, especially for school drop outs), but an educational system which has the parents overseeing the curriculum, didactic means, and duration of their child's education.

So, I've got five big concerns against that particular system, and not "learning at home". Basically, I fear that legalising homeschooling could put a strain on children, would put an unfair strain on and parents (financial as well as educational) as they take on what is the responsibility of the state to provide and what they're already paying for, that this only would only be an option for affluent, well-educated families and allows the state to dump even more (financial) responsibility on the parents rather than to incorporate the parents concern and change the school.

Read more... )
Now if there was a way to guarantee that all students have the access to education and the financial, parental and other support that they may need to learn whatever they want the way they want, I don't see a reason against letting students do just that, but until that's the case, I like having instutions in the background that ideally see to it that those students who don't have access to this get it.
Current Mood: thoughtful
13 May 2010 @ 10:58 am
Petition fun  
I regularly check our government's official e-petition page. It's a political barometer as good as any to find out what are the burning issues on my compatriots' minds, and naturally these days, there are petitions on our laws concerning sexual crimes and sexual predators, petitions against financial bail-outs in the Euro-zone, but there is also this:

«Einstellung der Förderung des LHC-Experiments an der Großforschungseinrichtung CERN»
Der Deutsche Bundestag möge beschließen, die Förderung des aufwändigen und unabsehbaren physikalischen LHC-Experiments an der Großforschungseinrichtung CERN ab sofort einzustellen und die Richtlinien zur Förderung der Naturwissenschaften um klare Ziele zur Erhaltung von Landschaft, Artenvielfalt, Gesundheit und Menschenwürde zu ergänzen.

"Stop funding the expensive and unpredictable LHC experiments at CERN and work to include clear objectives for the conservation our landscapes, biodiversity, health and human dignity into the application guidelines!" - For those of you who speak German, do click on that link and read his explanation of why we need to support his petition and find out why LHC experiments are esoteric.

There's also a petition which has 2k supporters right now, 2k too many in my eyes - a petition to decriminalise homeschooling in Germany, which I am really not a fan of. I like our compulsory school attendance and having children educated by professionals trained and paid to do so rather than their parents - unless these parents are trained to do so.

«Hausunterricht straffrei stellen»
Hausunterricht oder Homeschooling wird in allen EU Ländern und englisch sprachigen Ländern bereits schon länger mit großem Erfolg praktiziert und erweist sich immer mehr als der Bildungsweg der Zukunft. In Deutschland ist es eine noch weitgehend unbekannte und mit zahlreichen Vorurteilen behaftete Form des Lernens. Die unzureichende Vermittlung von ethischen und moralischen Grundwerten an öffentlichen Schulen, Gewalt und Mobbing, negative Sozialisation der Kinder, fehlende Lernfreude, sinkendes Bildungsniveau, die Unfähigkeit vieler Schulen Kinder individuell zu fördern und ihrem persönlichen Begabungsprofil zu bilden, haben dazu geführt, dass immer mehr Eltern sich Alternativen im bestehenden Bildungssystem wünschen. Bis dato existiert die Schulpflicht in Deutschland statt einer sinnvolleren Lernpflicht. Schule wird somit in Deutschland direktiv verordnet. Eltern, die ihre Kinder selbst unterrichten wollen, müssen mit staatlichen Strafmaßnahmen wie Bußgeldern rechnen und werden somit unnötig kriminalisiert. Es sollte mündigen Bürgern frei gestellt sein wo sie ihren Kindern Bildung zukommen lassen. Alle staatlichen Sanktionsmaßnahmen gegen Eltern, die ihre Kinder selbst unterrichten, sollten aufgehoben werden.
His main arguments are the lack of ethical and moral values students are taught public schools, mobbing, violence, negative socialisation, lack of motivation, falling standards, lack of support according to the student's individual aptitude and talents.

While I'm aware that especially for gifted students with gifted and didactically savvy parents this model might be ideal, especially if the child was subject to mobbing and endemic boredom, I doubt that it's a model that ought to be encouraged on a larger scale in Germany right now. It's not a model that's likely to be successful for families without a lot of cultural capital.
Also, I don't know about countries which do allow homeschooling, but I'd like to believe that enough trust in our educational system is warranted to make changes in the system and our institutions a solution even for those who are currently so unhappy with it that they'd like to take their children out of school.
Current Mood: busy
06 May 2010 @ 05:31 pm
Ok, people. Imagine you are a gun enthusiast, owned guns, and wanted to keep them in your house.

Now, pick your option of choice for gun storage from these two.


Made your choice? Awesome!

And now for storing ammunition. What looks like the sensible option here?


If you chose the first option in both cases, you ought to meet the father of last year's German school shooter Tim, who seems to have similar ideas about safety as you do. His son surprisingly got hold of both gun and ammunition and became, well, a school shooter with them.

Seriously, wth. )
Current Mood: angry
17 April 2010 @ 07:12 pm
Never read the comments.  
That also goes for reviews on Amazon! Stupid me. Still, reviewers, if you have to sign your review with "BTW, I'm neither racist nor religious, just my opinion", then you ought to know that there's something wrong with what you were writing in the first place?

Also, I just read through the entries for the 4th lesbian literary award hosted by Édition El!es (if you speak German and like bad writing, check it out!), and those entries scare me. They read like something that has a high potential to end up on either [ profile] canonrants - only that stylistically, I'd expect that kind of stuff on FFR or [ profile] verreiss_mich . Though considering the host I probably should not be surprised - apparently, they're publishing books of authors who terminated their contract with this publisher and changed to the other notable lesbian publisher, the Konkursbuch, and there's also been trouble concerning authors not getting paid for their work. Classy.
22 March 2010 @ 10:11 pm
Gender and household chores  
Not a big surprise, really, though the study (German) is ten years old, and I don't know anything about the methodology or details on the sample they used for this study, as they don't go into detail in the article this table was included in.

(Translation mine)
Current Mood: impressed
04 March 2010 @ 08:13 am
Well, looks like it's over. Thanks to everybody who signed - 9749 people did.
Current Mood: disappointed
08 February 2010 @ 01:26 am
I'll shut up about this come the Ides of March  
So, I asked my family to sign this petition I keep harping on about and was told by my father that he doesn't really see the point because only so few people are taking part, so he doesn't see a reason to bother with it. Edit: but he did sign it in the end, yay! Leaves only my brother and my mother who are deterred by ... having to sign up?

That doesn't really sound all that logical to me, especially as a reason to not bother as well if it's something you even moderately care about, but it's true. It is doomed, really - to be seriously considered it needs to gather 50k signatures within a month - it has roughly 5k now, and it needs 45k more until March 3. Plus you need to - gasp- sign up to sign it and people are lazy and don't care whatever the fuck is in our constitution, so both the people who actually would be protected by this law and the majority can't really be bothered.

The third article of our basic law reads as follows:
Article 3: Equality before the law
(1) All persons shall be equal before the law.

(2) Men and women shall have equal rights. The state shall promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women and men and take steps to eliminate disadvantages that now exist.

(3) No person shall be favored or disfavored because of sex, parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith, or religious or political opinions. No person shall be disfavored because of disability.

The changed version looks like this:
Suggested change:
(3) No person shall be favored or disfavored because of sex, sexual identity, parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith, or religious or political opinions. No person shall be disfavored because of disability.

According to our government, the term "sexual identity" covers bisexual, lesbian, gay, intersexed, transgendered and transsexual people because all components of the LGBTI acronym are the same to them. For once, this might be a really good thing and generally A Step In The Right Direction, regardless of the weirdness of having all those different things subsumed under the term "sexual identity".

Well, before, back in November, people in our government thought that the other parts of our Basic Law already nicely cover all relevant aspects and voted it down, it's now being brought back to attention by major parties, and there is also this petition. But, well, you need to sign up. D=

People like our more conservative and sillier folks thought back in November that would will mean paedophiles would be protected under the law and there would be a need to change the legislation to include something they refer to as "bisexual marriage", which turns out to be polygamy. No, I'm not making this up, these people really are that dense, and judging from the comment section of the petition, they're not alone.

Now I am not a legal expert, but I am pretty sure that there are ways to define what exactly they mean by "sexual identity". Having to define terms that sound incredibly vague is a bound to be a central feature of a legislation in which the first article of the Basic Law is "Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority". What is this "human dignity", exactly? And how can state authority protect it? Maybe I'm being naive here, but I can't help but have faith in our lawmakers to get down a definition that says pretty clearly what they mean by "sexual identity".

As for the petition and this matter in general, it seems that there are three basic possibilities to view this - not to give a damn, to be for it with or without knowledge of the legal implications, or to be against it with or without knowledge of the legal implications. So to my mind, you either don't give a damn and I dislike you, you're on the side of the "bisexual-marriage-is-group-marriage"-people or have a more sane legal reason I'd really like to know about, or your name is on that list already or bloody well should be.

This petition, even if it doesn't lead to momentous changes, at least seems to be pretty good a way of showing on which of the three sides people are in this matter. I signed it because I'm still hoping against all reason that this could go somewhere and because also I want to show my support for this publicly, even if this does turn out to be futile. Sometimes that seems to be all I can do, really.

I'd also be much a happier person if more people I know were not completely failing to give a damn or against it, especially my own family, bloody hell.
Current Mood: annoyed
Current Music: Jack Johnson - Sitting, Waitng, Wishing
Current Location: Germany, Hanover
05 February 2010 @ 01:15 pm
In case you didn't know: Sex and Singing  
«Die Kunst des Singens»
Junge Mädchen, bei denen man annehmen kann (ich würde nicht einmal weiblichen Kolleginnen raten, in solchen heiklen Dingen Fragen zu stellen, geschweige denn Männern!), dass sie noch keinen geschlechtlichen Verkehr hatten, verfügen meist nicht über vollklingende Töne zwischen dem F im Brustregister und dem C oder D im Mittelregister. Diese Töne sind fast ausnahmslos schwach.
Victor Funk, 1963 (and apparently still an authority on this today o.O) S.79f
"Young girls who can be expected not to be sexually active (I wouldn't even recommend female colleagues to ask questions in these delicate matters, let alone male colleagues!), usually don't have full-sounding tones between the F in their chest register and the C or D in their middle register. These tones are usually weak without exceptions."
- Victor Funk
«Die Kunst des Singens»
Da der Einfluss, den der Geschlechtsverkehr physisch und psychisch auf Frauen ausübt vollkommen individuell ist, sollte man hier auch keine allgemeinen Regeln aufstellen: fühlt sich eine Frau oder ein Mädchen glücklich ohne Geschlechtsverkehr, sollte man nicht erwarten, dass sich eine Veränderung in ihrem Geschlechtsleben auch auf ihre Stimme günstig auswirken würde - mehr geht ja den Gesanglehrer nicht an. Mit allem Nachdruck aber sei hier festgestellt, dass, gleichgültig wie sich der Geschlechtsverkehr in einzelnen Fällen bei Frauen auswirkt, er nie imstande sein kann, gesangtechnische Mängel zu ersetzen.
Vikor Fuchs, S.180.
Which is roughly:
"Due to the fact that the physical and mental influence which sexual activity has on women is completely individual, the application of general rules is discouraged: should a girl or a woman feel happy without sexual intercourse, no one should expect that a change in her sexual life would have a positive influence on her voice - and the singing instructor is not to concern himself with anything else. It should be emphasised that, regardless of the effect sexual experience has on women in individual cases, it can never be expected to replace proper singing technique. "

Good to know that singing instructors offering a extra help with that after lessons is discouraged.
Current Mood: amused
03 February 2010 @ 12:56 pm
Petition: Berücksichtigung der sexuellen Identität in Artikel 3 GG  
Ich bin mir zwar immer noch nicht ganz über die Sinnhaftigkeit offiziellen Onlinepetitionen unseres Bundestags im Klaren, aber hier ist sie trotzdem, hoffentlich bringt sie etwas.

Also, hier könnt ihr sie finden, und darum geht es: 

"Der Deutsche Bundestag möge beschließen ...Änderung des Grundgesetzes (Artikel 3 Absatz 3 Satz 1)"
Lesben, Schwule, Bisexuelle, Transgender, transsexuelle und intersexuelle Menschen sind in unserer Gesellschaft auch heute noch Anfeindungen, gewaltsamen Übergriffen und Benachteiligungen ausgesetzt. Einfachgesetzliche Diskriminierungsverbote haben die rechtliche Situation der Betroffenen zwar verbessert. Die fehlende Berücksichtigung in Artikel 3 Absatz 3 des Grundgesetzes (GG) wirkt sich aber bis heute negativ auf die gesellschaftliche und rechtliche Situation von Lesben, Schwulen, Bisexuellen, Transgender, transsexuellen und intersexuellen Menschen aus. Ein ausdrückliches Verbot der Diskriminierung aufgrund der sexuellen Identität im Grundgesetz schafft eine klare Maßgabe für den einfachen Gesetzgeber. Letztlich steht es für das deutliche Bekenntnis, dass Gesichtspunkte der sexuellen Identität eine ungleiche Behandlung unter keinen Umständen rechtfertigen können.
Hans-Werner Sperber.
Current Mood: hopeful
20 January 2010 @ 01:04 pm
Haiti in the news  
This has been so predictable. Crying children. Miracles of saved children. Crying women. Women stuck in the rubble, making me wonder what complete asshole of a photographer prioritised taking a picture over helping. White people in uniforms helping. And dogs helping, too.

The stories in pictures as seen by me in onine versions of papers and magazines has a pretty predictable pattern common to all disasters - victims are always female, people showing emotions are usually women, looters are usually male, people helping are usually white. Still, this earthquake killed about two hundred thousand people, and some of them are bound not to have been young, attractive women. And even those nameless, storyless women who are crying and being saved and being tended to by white saviours now are bound to get up and go out and search for their families, find their children, bury their dead. They may dig through rubble in the hope of finding someone still alive even today, and help organise the people come to help, because they are bound to know her home better than the foreign white saviours. And then they will help rebuild homes, and then go back to their lives as farmers or doctors or servants or teachers.

In many newspapers, it seems as though the Haitians don't do anything apart from lying half-naked and dead in mass graves, stumbling around in a daze, shooting each other and going looting, while white people are helping and Keeping Order. The earthquake was a horrific tragedy, and its sickening that this kind of reporting apparently helps to get people to donate.
Current Mood: cynical
16 January 2010 @ 12:54 pm
ELP and my health insurance  
So I worried that being in a registered same-sex partnership and having that as my marital personal status would mean that I'd be outing myself on a constant basis.
Good news, this does not appear to be the case!
Observe this bizarre (and amusing!) conversation I had with someone at my health insurance when I called them about my new name:

Insurance Person: "Hiii, this is Ms InsurancePerson. How may I help you?"
Me: "Hi, this is Moth Wing-Wock. I've been in an eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft (= German for gay marriage) since the end of last year and my name changed."
IP: "Oh, I see. What is your insurance number?"
Me: "123456."
IP: "Ah, here you are, Ms Wing. What is your new name?"
Me: "It's Wing-Wock."
IP: "O-k, I've changed your name, and we'll send you a new card right away. Did your address change?"
Me: "No, it didn't. Thank you for your help."
IP: "Would you or your husband be interested in a family insurance at all?"
Me: "... My wife is already insured elsewhere."
IP: "Oh, I see. Well, in case you or your husand change your mind, I'll enclose some info material, shall I?"

Well, it's one way of dealing with new concepts.
Current Mood: amused
28 July 2009 @ 06:11 pm
Dummes auf deutsch  
Ich sollte es eigentlich ja besser wissen, aber ich habe diesen Artikel gelesen:

Gleichgeschlechtliche Partnerschaften - Kinder brauchen keine Hetero-Eltern

Und dann hab ich noch einen Fehler gemacht - ich habe die Kommentare auch gelesen. Hier mal eine Auswahl, es ist zum Schreien:

"Ja, es muss ein tolles Gefühl sein wenn man in der Klasse oder auf dem Pausenplatz mitteilen darf das man eben nicht ein Mami und Papi zu Hause hat sondern zwei Mami oder zwei Papi...
Den dem Hedonismus und Egoismus moderner Erwachsener dürfen keine Grenzen mehr gesetzt werden."

"In einem Punkt verlieren einige heterosexuelle Paare doch drastisch, wenn homosexuelle Paare bei der Adoption gleich gestellt werden: und zwar jene hetersexuellen Paare, die auf natürlichem Wege keine Kinder bekommen können.
Denn um die gleiche Anzahl Kinder bewerben sich dann plötzlich viel mehr Paare. Und die Wahrscheinlichkeit, den Kinderwunsch erfüllt zu bekommen, sinkt für Mann-Frau-Paare, die biologisch nicht Eltern werden können, drastisch."

"Denn eines ist mal klar, die Anzahl der Kinder die freiwillig zur Adoption frei gegeben werden, ist verschwindend gering und die klassische Familie IST für Kinder der beste Ort um auf zu wachsen und nichts anderes."

"Nur, weil so manche bunte Erscheinungen des menschlichen Lebens immer hoffähiger werden und sich auch ein entsprechendes Lobbywesen dazu gesellt, ist hier noch längst nicht alles im Sinne der Natur."

"Ich hätte auch erwartet, dass Homo-Kinder öfter homo werden."

"Homosexualität ist natürlich- aber ob es natürlich ist, Kinder durch homosexuelle Paare großzuziehen? Homos haben gegenüber Heteros in der Gesellschaft keine Nachteile. Sie können es offen ausleben ebenso wie Heteros."

Was soll einem dazu noch einfallen...?

So, ich gehe mal wieder an die Arbeit hier.
26 June 2009 @ 03:29 pm
In Germany, cis men over the age of eighteen have to complete nine months of military service or nine months of Zivildienst ("compulsory paid community service", as so aptly translated in Wiki) if they refuse to do the former. It is forbidden by law to force cis women or transmen into military service, and a year of "civilian service" is completely optional for them, too, but unless the people are physically unfit to complete military service or object for reasons of consciousness, they have to do it (transwomen can be exempted for "psychological reasons"). The laws regarding this are outrageous in their gender inequality, and it doesn't look as though they are going to be changed any time soon.

What I find most peculiar about this is that those who do not wish to do military service have to write a lengthy essay in which they detail the reasons for not wanting to do so, why they believe that it is, indeed, unethical to harm other human beings in what your government reckons are the best interests of your country or its allies.

In what world is it the accepted norm to be completely fine with shooting or bombing people?
Current Mood: busy
24 June 2009 @ 01:25 am
Ach, Internet...  
Gibt es einen Grund dafür, dass wenn man "lesbische Beziehung" bei Google eingibt, man den Suchvorschlag "Gewalt in lesbischen Beziehungen" erhält? Ich hatte eigentlich nach einer Debatte mit einer Frau, die meinte, lesbische Beziehungen würden immer nur 4-5 Jahre halten, nach Artikeln gesucht, die sich mit dem Thema befassen (und nicht aus den späten 80ern sind), doch ich fand kaum etwas.

Na, doch, Sachen wie diesen Artikel: "Die lesbische Frau verstehen, die Hilfe sucht", aus dem Jahr 2001.


Die Antriebskraft für eine lesbische Beziehung liegt in einem gefühlsmäßigen Mangel der Frau, einem Mangel in bezug auf empfangene weiblich-mütterliche Fürsorge und Geborgenheit. [...]

Während lesbische Partnerschaften im allgemeinen länger halten als männliche homosexuelle Beziehungen, neigen sie dazu, mit einer großen emotionalen Intensität aufgeladen zu sein. Der "Klebstoff", der sie zusammenhält, sind Eifersucht, übermäßiger Besitzanspruch und verschiedene manipulierende Verhaltensweisen. [...]

Die emotionale Anziehung, die lesbisch orientierte Frauen spüren, hat oft etwas Verzweifeltes an sich. Eine Klientin, die erkannte, daß ihre lesbischen Beziehungen ein Nachzeichnen ihres tiefen Bedürfnisses nach mütterlicher Liebe waren, erklärte mir: „Wenn ich eine Frau treffe, zu der ich mich hingezogen fühle, ist es, als würde etwas in mir sagen: ‚Willst du meine Mami sein?’ [...]

Beim Lesbianismus geht es darum, daß das eigene, weibliche Geschlecht aus einem bestimmten Grund vorgezogen wird: Psychologisch gesehen geht es um den Versuch, Sehnsüchte zu erfüllen, die der lesbisch orientierten Frau selbst unbewußt sind; und es geht um die Angst vor Nähe zu einer Person des anderen Geschlechts. Im Lesbianismus ist eine Frau in der Entwicklung „festgefahren“ und deshalb nicht in der Lage, eine gesunde Heterosexualität zu entwickeln. Das Ausmaß der Probleme in Bezug auf die geschlechtliche Identität wird beeinflußt davon, wann und die die gesunde Persönlichkeitsentwicklung verhindert wurde.

Aber das ich eine kranke Persönlichkeit bin, die nie ihre gesunde Heterosexualität entwickeln konnte, wussten wir ja schon. Jetzt ist nur noch die Frage, warum Rebecca meine zweite Mami ist.

Spannend ist auch ein Therapieziel aus einem Artikel von 2003:

Zuletzt, wenn alles gut geht, hat die Klientin gelernt,  fürsorglicher mit sich selbst umzugehen und gesunde, nicht-sexuelle  Freundschaften aufzubauen. Sie hat gelernt, Selbstüberlebensstrategien und Abwehrverhalten aufzugeben und angefangen, in allen Lebensaspekten realer zu sein. Sie wagt es, neue Risiken in Beziehungen einzugehen, sie hat Vertrauen gelernt und kann Zärtlichkeit und Verletzlichkeit bewußt zulassen und annehmen. Sie hat ein eigenes Zuhause in sich gefunden, und wenn sie das Glück hat, dies im Kontext eines persönlichen Glaubens an Gott zu finden, weiß sie, daß sie nie allein sein wird. Sie kann ihre eigene Weiblichkeit leben und aus ihrem inneren Zuhause heraus - ohne  Abhängigkeiten von Frauen (oder Männern!) - sich in einer gesunden Balance von Geben und Nehmen mit anderen Frauen und Männern verbinden.  Wenn sie das erreicht hat, hat sie möglicherweise mehr erreicht als manch andere Frau, die nie an weiblicher Homosexualität litt.

Wow. Jetzt weiß ich, was in meiner Krankschreibung hätte stehen müssen.
29 April 2009 @ 03:58 pm
Pan, bi or trans in Hamburg = your life is peachy.  
So peachy that there are no issues the annual city-wide pride event organisers needs to support, apparently and that, like some of the very visible ally organisations, you don't need to appear in the blurb on the homepage because it's an event for "gays and lesbians". Huh.

Considering that pride week is always organised by Hamburg Pride e.v. which says it's supporting the rights of the full LGBTQI etc. spectrum in their statement, but whose goals are aimed primarily at same-sex couples that's probably not too surprising. As a member of a same-sex couple I think it's great they care, but is there really nothing that pan-, bisexual or (especially) trans individuals who are not in a same-sex couple could do with this year? Really?**

It's a shame, because one of the primary functions of the association seems to be "education and the inclusion of homosexuality awareness" not only in school curricula but also in the actual lessons, and props to them - even though it's been on the official curricula for years, most teachers don't include LGBT issues in their lessons in any way (not entirely true in my case. We did watch The Crying Game in our English LK (A level class), albeit without any kind of communication about the movie apart form how the political issues of the Troubles were presented in it. LGBT people don't exist in our school reality).

I'm not sure how they actually go about their education programmes, but I'd like to know if they include at least bisexual or trans related issues. It doesn't really say anywhere. I'd also be a happier person if they'd include gender-related issues and a bigger spectrum of sexual orientations and preferences, too, and possibly even such a thing as kink awareness, as it may save a lot of people a lot of angst and trouble, even in times of the internets. In the aftermath of education events, a lot of kids end up trying to insult each other, and if they're presented with a bigger variety of sexual orientations à la YayGenderform, identities and gender identities as well as preferences, that might not only broaden their horizon, but also shut them up and get them thinking.

They say they do offer help for LGBTQI individuals who are survivors of assault or otherwise in trouble or in a crisis, which is good, but on the whole not very specific. 

So, I don't really feel the love.

** Edited for less cryptic cynicism: after they were criticised by a UN committee for women's rights this Febuary with regards to our out-dated trans laws, the German legislative body have agreed to hand in a revised version of the laws by the first of August, which just so happens to be the first day of pride week.
As far as I can remember there was not much mention of laws being changed during last year's pride, and it's not an official goal during this year's. I'm hoping they simply forgot to change the goals on the official page, which seems to be a template they've been using for three years now, but I doubt it.
Current Mood: contemplative
28 April 2009 @ 05:49 pm
My countrymen embarrass me.  
Recently, an article in Die Zeit on the role of German fathers in time of post-feminism sparked a lively discussion  gender wank in the comment section that is still going on a couple of months later. I occasionally read the comments only to find that people seem to be following this guide to the letter: Derailing for Dummies. Read it. It's brilliant.

Die Zeit is supposed to be a German quality paper but the comment section is a gathering of tabloid brains who use their college vocabulary to discuss issues that were relevant back in the nineties and say things that I usually only hear from particularly dim YouTube users.

The gist is: we have achieved equality, the pay gap is a thing of the past, all feminists hate men, and where are my rights and my "boy's day"? It is women are damaging men because there are so many of them in our educational system, so that's one way how women oppress men: by forcing men out of the educational system. Also, evil women force their weak partners to be a "New Man" and then leave them for the "old" kind, leaving their poor partners battered and broken - which only goes to show how much more powerful women are these days.

People are spouting things like these:
  • "How dare you call me misogynistic! I was only saying that women are clearly better suited for child raising and men for studying physics, it's in their nature, and everything else would be denying basic facts of biology."
  • "You do realise that your tone is not helping your cause, don't you?"
  • "How is it not oppressive that boys don't have Girl's Day!"
  • "Since we have equality, the only role in life that men have left is that of impregnating the women who choose them, how come women aren't conscious of that immense power they have over men? They can choose them! They are more powerful than men, who have to fight for women."
  • "Oh, sweetie, that is so typical for a radfems like you. Really, it makes me laugh, how can you expect us to take any of this seriously?"
To make it worse, it's all in the awkward, letter-to-the-editor-style my countrywomen and -men use when conversing online, and it's in my mother tongue, so that comfy linguistic and emotional puffer zone I have when I read idiots discuss these things in English is non-existent and ten minutes and three pages into the discussion I feel like strangling someone. It's not only the sheer small-minded ignorance of the arguments, it's the vocabulary. If people use words like "radfem" or "feminazi" in English, it's just a word, it doesn't have any of the playground-humiliation connotation "Kampflesbe" or "Kampfemanze" have (although nowadays I think that "Kampflesbe" [militant dyke] is pretty cool).

The way the mostly upper class users don't realise that in this world, not everything is about them and that there are plenty of people, like, for example, "working class" girls and boys or people with a background in migration who still do NOT have the opportunities they themselves had is truly baffling, not unusual, judging by the experiences I had in education courses with gender topics at my university. When they do discuss people Not Them, they do so with a detached, generalising arrogant ignorance which is not much better. Gnah.

It's a bad outlook when discussions I have with xenophobic High School dropout teenagers from the US about why LGBT people should all be locked up in jail are less threatening for my faith in mankind than merely reading discussions among supposedly educated, self-proclaimed "liberal-" and "open-minded" Germans. 
Current Mood: apathetic