feminism is for everybody (part one) / by mrm

For no particular reason, this thought crossed my mind today: What if I just bought bell hook's Feminism is for Everybody for everybody's birthday for a year? ("everybody" here used to mean, "everybody I would be buying a birthday present for that year") I don't actually think I'll be doing that, but I do want to take a moment to talk about feminism, women's rights, and women's bodies. After all, the body is the start and source of all "difference" and discrimination. But what is a woman's body?

I started writing this post about about the Intersex Society of North America, an organization dedicated to "systemic change to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries for people born with an anatomy that someone decided is not standard for male or female." (Hyperlinks theirs and, especially if you're not sure what I'm talking about right now, I encourage you to follow them.) It seems that, as an active organization, they are no more, although they do maintain a comprehensive web page. The new action place seems to be Accord Alliance.

Now while I am eager for us all to enter a post-gender world, that's not what Accord Alliance is (or ISNA was) all about. And that's okay with me. They are tackling a largely ignored challenge and source of discrimination in this country, and I stand with them in that. And although ISNA is closed, their webpage continues to have a lot of helpful information about what it means to be intersex, and do a great job of unpacking why it's neither accurate nor okay to call someone a hermaphrodite. Accord Alliance is doing a lot of work around education, for medical professionals, for the general public, and for families of intersex people. What can you do? Read up, get educated, and, if you feel so moved, make a contribution.