Tom at a pub with friends

LGBT History Month – It’s OK to go Through Phases

This LGBT History Month, I’m writing a series of posts reflecting on my own history; in particular, I want to revisit some of the key moments in my life that affected my relationship with my own sense of gender and my sexuality. Perhaps my experiences and thoughts will be of some use to other people out there in the queer community – and to parents whose children are non-binary or find themselves somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum. This is the second of two posts for everyone who’s ever asked themselves whether they’re ‘going through a phase’. Continue reading

Tom with some parrots in Florida

LGBT History Month – It’s OK to go Through a Phase

This LGBT History Month, I’m writing a series of posts reflecting on my own history; in particular, I want to revisit some of the key moments in my life that affected my relationship with my own sense of gender and my sexuality. Perhaps my experiences and thoughts will be of some use to other people out there in the queer community – and to parents whose children are non-binary or find themselves somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum. This is the first of two posts for everyone who’s ever asked themselves whether they’re ‘going through a phase’. Continue reading

Tom at his prom

LGBT History Month – School can be Miserable for Queer Kids

This LGBT History Month, I’m writing a series of posts reflecting on my own history; in particular, I want to revisit some of the key moments in my life that affected my relationship with my own sense of gender and my sexuality. Perhaps my experiences and thoughts will be of some use to other people out there in the queer community – and to parents whose children are non-binary or find themselves somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum. This one’s for every queer kid having a miserable time at school. Continue reading

Tom and his dad

LGBT History Month – It’s OK for a Boy to Want to Kiss Another Boy

This LGBT History Month, I’m writing a series of posts reflecting on my own history; in particular, I want to revisit some of the key moments in my life that affected my relationship with my own sense of gender and my sexuality. Perhaps my experiences and thoughts will be of some use to other people out there in the queer community – and to parents whose children are non-binary or find themselves somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum. This one’s also for the parents, an addendum to the ‘birds and the bees’ conversation, perhaps. Continue reading

January calendar

Metablog – January 2015

It felt as though I spent January shuffling backwards up a mountain made entirely of treacle whilst juggling cacti. I think it’s the same for a lot of people, but then I believe we’re trained to think that way about the first month of the year. The days are still short, payday always seems like years, rather than days, away and we’re encouraged to band together in this perfect month-long grey melancholy. I managed to remind myself that the ‘January blues’ are completely fabricated on many an occasion; they’re not inherent to humans like, say, eyes. And, anyway, we didn’t always have a ‘January’, did we? Continue reading

Tom

LGBT History Month – ‘Girly’ Boys and ‘Boyish’ Girls

This LGBT History Month, I’m writing a series of posts reflecting on my own history; in particular, I want to revisit some of the key moments in my life that affected my relationship with my own sense of gender and my sexuality. Perhaps my experiences and thoughts will be of some use to other people out there in the queer community – and to parents whose children are non-binary or find themselves somewhere on the LGBTQIA spectrum. This post goes out to the parents of ‘girly’ boys and ‘boyish’ girls in particular.
Continue reading

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

The Second Sex Readalong: Since the French Revolution: The Job and the Vote

To find out more about the Second Sex readalong, click here.

In this, the final chapter of the second part of the ‘first book’ of the Second Sex, Beauvoir uses the French Revolution as a starting point to discuss the progression of woman’s situation from the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. She cites the Industrial Revolution as one of the major factors in liberating woman (somewhat, at least) from her reproductive role, and casting her in a productive role, since birth control became more prevalent, accessible and permissible (just not in the Church’s eyes) during this time, and advances in technology allowed her to engage in a wider range of work on the same terms as man. Becoming productive allowed woman to find solidarity both within and outside different classes, to become part of unions and to form these herself; this politicisation became a founding part of the suffrage movement – the first wave of modern feminism. The fundamental nature of ‘woman’s condition’, however, remained unchanged, as equality was not fully achieved. Continue reading

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

The Second Sex Readalong: Through the Middle Ages to Eighteenth-century France

To find out more about the Second Sex readalong, click here.

This chapter used historical examples from various Western European countries in order to illustrate the fluctuating condition of women from, as the title suggests, the Middle Ages to eighteenth-century France. Beauvoir once again relies on religious context to introduce her ideas, discussing Christian and Jewish beliefs about woman and her place in society, before moving the discussion on to woman’s power to acquire, possess and bequeath property, to earn and spend money, and to participate in artistic and political life – to a certain extent, anyway. We note, as the chapter progresses, that there are changes in woman’s condition, but not in her fundamental nature, which many would argue is as accurate for twenty-first century society as it was for society two to three hundred years ago. Continue reading