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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in gender

 Classic Potato Pancakes Recipe Recipe | Epicurious

 

I was born in a time (and place) where men didn't learn how to cook.

Here's the story of how I did.

Now, let me mention from the outset that raising men incapable of preparing their own food violates ancestral precedent. In the old tribal days, every war party or hunting party would take along a few youths—men-in-training—to cook for them. These would already have learned to cook in the Boys' House, where you made your own stew, stir-about, and oat cakes, or went without.

For numerous reasons—personal affinity foremost among them—I became vegetarian at 18. (It is, admittedly, a very freshman year kind of thing to do.) In those days, that made eating out difficult.

One night as, for the umpteenth time, I was cobbling together (at a steak house, no less) a meatless meal for myself from the “Sides” menu, sitting with my baked potato, tossed salad, cottage cheese, and glass of tomato juice in front of me, I had my Scarlett O'Hara moment.

“As the Goddess is my witness,” I vowed, “I'll never piece together a meal out of 'sides' again!”

So I learned to cook.

Even my father, who (you could tell) for years felt kind of ambivalent about his gay son who liked to cook, learned—after my mother stopped cooking (surely after 50+ years, she'd earned the right)—to love the fact. When I came to visit, he would always have suggestions.

“So, how about potato pancakes on Friday?” he would say.

Friday it was. Indeed, my potato pancakes are some of the best.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Round about the cauldron go...
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    There is a Methodist church north of the James river that sells homemade Brunswick Stew for a few days each year. My parents love

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

I worry about the sissy-boys of the Earth.

Call us whatever you like (gender non-conforming, non-binary...), it used to be that sissy-boys got shit from bullies, and from those who, when the world outside doesn't match the world inside their heads, respond with hate.

We still do, of course. But now, I fear, sissy-boys face yet another—if different—kind of violence.

I was a sissy-boy. I liked dolls and dress-up and imagining. I wanted to be a dancer. My friends were mostly girls. If you had asked me, Would you rather be a boy or a girl, I could easily have told you.

Goddess bless them, my family (mostly) let me be me. It was only outside the home that I learned that it was wrong to be who I was. Believe me, sissy-boys get shit from pretty much everyone, adults included.

That kind of opprobrium is in itself a motivator.

Now I worry that sissy-boys are facing a new kind of social pressure: not the pressure to conform, but the pressure to transition.

If, as a child, they had offered me hormones and the prospect of surgery, I would probably have taken them. Goddess help me, I would probably have taken them; and that decision would have ruined my life.

Why in the world does anyone care so much? Why are they so insistent that we change our bodies, or our souls, to meet their stupid expectations? We're part of the natural variability of things. Why can't they just let us be as we are?

The world is cruel to sissy-boys. Many of us don't survive.

But let me tell you something about sissy-boys, and what I tell you is true: those of us that do, somehow, manage to survive the hatred, the bullying, and the well-meaning but ill-considered attempts to “fix” us, are some of the strongest people that you will ever meet, anywhere.

We are, because we have to be.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Sissy-boys, Asian-Americans, Pagans, etcetera if people want to be heard they have to put out the art, music and stories that say
  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz says #
    The day is coming when technology will allow people to be physically genderless. Some will chose this path in life and how will we
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Katie. It took me a long time to figure out that there's not just one way to be a man. To this day, in the pagan community
  • Katie
    Katie says #
    Beautifully written. It expresses so much that I’ve thought, over the years. Similarly, I worry that strong, independent girls, o

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
womenandchildren

[Note: I wrote this several years ago before i knew much about trans people. please forgive the narrow focus.]

It’s August, it’s hot, and I’m pissed. Regrettably, only the first two are seasonal.

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
“Our Gods Do Not Have Genitals!”

Reading what one can only call a Hellenismos salvation pamphlet a while back, I came across one of the more jar (sic)-dropping claims that I've seen in my 50 years in the pagan community:

Our gods do not have genitals!” Sic: italics, exclamation point, and all.

Of course, we can't assume that the writer is speaking for anyone besides him- or herself here. Still, on the face of it, this might seem a strange claim for a Hellene to make. Greece is famous for its naked gods, as a glance at pretty much any ancient art will show. Among the males, at least, virtually all have genitals, or at least did before Time and mobs of marauding monks got to them. So what's with the claim?

I presume that the writer is making a point here about the nature of the gods: that Their reality is spirit, not flesh, or some such philosophical mishegoss.

Well, the Genderedness of gods is surely among the Deeper Mysteries, and I won't go into it here. What does it mean to say “Goddess” or “God”? Is the gendered language that we use when speaking of the gods mere metaphor, or does it point to some richer, deeper reality?

As for me, I'm a witch of the Tribe of Witches, and as to whether or not gods have genitals, our response would be clear:

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How Stories Can Change the World and Ourselves

Stories matter. In fact, human beings have been called “story-telling animals.” Every day we consume stories on the media and in books, films and TV shows. We can spend hours on Facebook reading the posts of friends, relatives, and even total strangers. We hunger for narratives that give us hope but all too often run into descriptions filled with horror, abuse and despair.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Gendering Animals

 We be of one blood, you and I.

 

Animals have gender.

Animals—by which I mean, of course, non-human animals—are male and female, just like we are.*

Why then, in English, do we refer to animals as “it”?

If you think that there are religious implications here, you're right.

“Animals” are our kin. As such, they deserve to be accorded dignity and treated with respect.

As such, they deserve to be spoken of as he or she, not it.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Yes, thank Goddess English shed its grammatical genders 1000 years ago, as Old English morphed into Middle. But no, there's no con
  • tehomet
    tehomet says #
    The distinction between (biological) sex and (ascribed) gender that you speak of is a function of the human animal. Quite.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    I'm afraid you're confusing gender with biological sex. Gender is grammatical, a product of language, which is a product of cultur
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks, Virginia: the better that we know others, the better we know ourselves. That said, in the nature of things, we're probabl
  • Virginia Carper
    Virginia Carper says #
    Well, if you are discussing mammals and birds, yes. With snails and slugs, they are either "it" or "both gendered." Going further

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Of Beans, Rice, and Thinking Tribally

Back in the 70s, I was a good, doctrinaire Diet for a Small Planet vegetarian.

Frances Moore Lappé's epoch-making cookbook was based on the notion of protein complementarity: in order to get a complete protein, you need both beans and grains. Eaten together, you get more nutritional benefit from the combination than you would if you ate them separately.

So, religiously, I ate my beans and rice together at meal after meal after meal.

Since then, we've learned more about how the body handles these things. In fact, the body and its digestion is more flexible than we used to think. If you eat, say, your whole wheat toast for breakfast and your lentil soup at lunch, you'll still get the full protein benefit from the combination.

And that's another thing that the tribe does for us.

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