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A Documentary That Allows Transgender People's Voices to Be Heard

Though gays and lesbians are gradually gaining more acceptance in Puerto Rico, the same cannot be said yet of transgender people. That is why a film like Mala Mala, a documentary in which trans people speak freely about their stories, is so important. The film, directed by Dan Sickles (@dan_sickles) and Antonio Santini, is on the official selection of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

One of the people interviewed for the film is Paxx Moll, a chef who is also a transgender female-to-male. In an article published in La Respuesta, a digital magazine about the Puerto Rican diaspora, he talks to E. J. Dávila about who he is, his experience being part of the documentary, and about the lack of social and medical spaces for trans people in Puerto Rico, particularly for transgender men.

This is the teaser trailer for Mala Mala, which will premier in Puerto Rico in the coming months:

Chinese Women Protest Against the World Cup

12 women staged an anti-World Cup protest on 7 of July in Shanghai. Photo from Weibo via Offbeat China.

12 women staged an anti-World Cup protest on 7 of July in Shanghai. Photo from Weibo via Offbeat China.

Offbeat China explained why women are so angry and how the World Cup has destroyed relationships in China.

They are primarily pissed about two things: 1) their partners neglecting family responsibilities due to late-night game watching; 2) reckless gambling on games.

Empowering Girls Through Sports in Bolivia

The blog El clavo en el zapato (The nail in the shoe) visited District 4 in El Alto, where the project “Niñas con altura” (Girls with height) is fostering the participation of high school girls in sports. It's funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the foundation Save The Children:

Fue muy emocionante observar a 200 beneficiarias del proyecto, dialogar e intercambiar con un par de personajes singulares: Maitte Zamorano, atleta y futbolista [...]. La acompañó Iris Uriona, una de las primeras mujeres árbitras de la Liga Profesional del Fútbol Boliviano.

Ambas compartieron sus sueños, recuerdos, ilusiones y retos. Para estas niñas alteñas, el tener tan de cerca a dos mujeres que con esfuerzo y trabajo, han logrado romper los moldes que se esperan de una joven boliviana, una de ellas con la capacidad de ser la goleadora del continente y la otra siendo jueza y voz de autoridad ante un conjunto de varones, que sin embargo han recibido poca atención mediática.
Iniciativas como las de “Niñas con altura” están poniendo las bases para tener una juventud que pueda soñar con llegar muy arriba, incorporando precisamente lo que han aprendido jugando: liderazgo, autoestima y participación en la comunidad.

It was very exciting to watch 200 beneficiaries of the project, conversing and exchanging with two unique figures: Maitte Zamorano, athlete and football player [...]. With them, there was Iris Uriona, one of the first female referees in the Professional Football Bolivian League.

Both of them shared their dreams, memories, excitement and challenges. For these girls from El Alto, having two women who through effort and hard work have been able to break the mold that is expeccted of young Bolivian women, one of them with the ability of being the continent's top goal scorer and the other a judge and authority among a group of men, that nonetheless have gotten little attention from the media.
Initiatives such as “Niñas con altura” are setting the foundations for having a generation that can dream of being on the top, incorporating precisely what they have learned by playing: leadership, self-esteem and community participation.

Gender is “Not the Same as Sex”: #CPMX5Incluyente


Image by Twitter user ‏@Valeriaggaona.

Recently held Campus Party in Jalisco, Mexico, duscussed about a wide range of discussions, not always related with the topic of this kind of meetings. Claudia Calvin founder of the collective Mujeres Construyendo, writes on Animal Político some of her conclusions, noting that sexism and women objectivization lays the foundations to exert violence again them.

She explains:

En primer lugar, las características que las sociedades atribuyen a cada sexo son construidas social y culturalmente y, además, van configurando un sistema de relaciones de poder. Esto implica que en cada cultura y contexto se asume que hombres y mujeres deban desempeñar funciones sociales específicas

In the first place, the characteristics societies give to each sex are socially and culturally created, and they set up a power relationship system. This means that in each culture and context it's accepted that men and women must carry on specific social roles.

She then offers a overview of inequalities, gaps and gender barriers on events such as Campus Party and ICT ecosystems:

Hay más hombres que mujeres en todos los niveles de toma de decisiones y en el universo del desarrollo de software y contenidos sucede lo mismo. En el mundo de la computación, según datos de The Atlantic, solamente el 25% de los puestos son ocupados por mujeres. A nivel de CIOs (Chief Information Officers) en el listado de 250 empresas de la lista de Fortune, solamente el 20% ocupa ese cargo. Por ellos los nombres de Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer y Blanca Treviño son tan importantes. Son, literalmente, gotas de agua en el desierto.

There are more men than women at every decision making level, as it happens within the universe of software and content development. In computer world, according to The Atlantic, only 25% of positions are taken by women. For CIO (Chief Information Officers) on the list of 250 firm on Fortune lists, only 20% of women have that position. That's why names as Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer and Blanca Treviño are so important. They are, literally, water drops in the desert.

To read more about international relationships, politics, gender and ICT, you can follow Claudia Calvin on Twitter.

Jamaica: Beauty & the Beast

The issue is that there is an idea in Jamaica of who is beautiful and who isn’t…that this idea of beauty is, to a large extent, a racially constructed one.

Kei Miller recounts a heartbreaking story of the dark side of beauty pageants and contends that the Miss Jamaica franchise represents “hierarchies of race and class as they still operate in Jamaica today.”

In Love With a Porn Star?

Psychologist and many blogs author Johanna Pérez Vásquez writes on her blog Sexo sin maquillaje (Sex without make up) about sex without worries, taboos nor prejudices. On this post, she raises a question Can a porn actor be in a platonic relationship with a woman?:

Una mujer puede elegir como amor platónico a un deportista para satisfacer, en su imaginación, la necesidad de tener a un compañero sexual con la vitalidad suficiente para hacer el amor durante horas [...] Si una mujer, insatisfecha con el rumbo que lleva su vida sexual, ve una película en la que el protagonista jala el pelo, lame la vulva y chupa los dedos de los pies justo del modo en que a ella le gusta es muy probable que surja alguna conexión, una que quizás lleve a acciones que también se dan para expresar atracción hacia amores platónicos más “castos y limpios”.

A girl can choose to have a platonic relationship with an athlete to satissfy her imagination, the need of having a sexual partner with enough vitality to make love for hours [...]. If a girl, unsatisfied with the way her sex life is going, watches a movie where the leading star puls the hair, licks the vulva and the toes just as she likes it, most likely there will be some kind of connection, one that may take to actions that also express attraction into more “chaste and pure” platonic relationships.

As each day more women freely accept they watch pornography, it's probably that in the future women may share their opinions about the actors on these films and even share videos via social networks.

You can follow Johanna on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and G+.

This post was part of the ninth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on June 30, 2014.

Bangladeshi Sex Workers Take Cow Steroids To Mask Their Real Age

ActionAid, a British charity, mentioned in a recent report that 90% of commercial sex workers in Bangladesh are addicted to Oradexon, a steroid meant for cattle. Diaspora Bangladeshi blogger Anushay Hossain explains why they use this drug:

This medicine meant to fatten cows has become the preferred drug among the madams [employers of sex workers] of Bangladesh. They are using the pills to mask the real age of the underage girls working for sex in their brothels by making them appear older and at the same time making the more ‘seasoned’ sex-worker look plum and voluptuous.

Yes, I Wear a Bra, and It's Visible. So?

Nivedita N Kumar, a journalist, posts an emotional Facebook note which has gone viral. Here is an excerpt from the powerful essay that lashes at the notion of the Indian patriarchal society that clothes provoke rapists:

Why? Why do you do that? Stare at my breasts like they are cute babies calling out to be cuddled. Strip me naked, slowly, every time I enter the bus? Try to glimpse into my cleavage when I am sitting and reading in the metro.

Who gives you the right? To grope me in the crowded bus? To fall on me “innocently” when I buy popcorn in the theater. When I sit cross legged in the auto and you stop your bike and look hungrily at my legs.

A piece of meat, am I?

How do you think I feel? When I have to continuously watch over my shoulder, because it is 10 pm and there is nobody at the bus stop, except you. Staring at my neck.

The post itself got more than 35000 shares and after it was shared by the Logical Indian, it has so far received more than 260000 likes and more than 64000 shares.

“No Strings Attached Sex is a Multiple Rules Game”

Mariangel Calderon recommends on her blog El Ovario (The ovary) not to have unrealistic expectations after no-strings-attached sex. She writes this is one of the games with more ruels and it's even more commendable than simply falling in love by preventing someone like that gets into your life unauthorized. She lists some lgunas rules:

…Se debe evitar al máximo el contacto visual antes, durante y después de la acción, porque bien dicen que los ojos son las ventanas del alma y no vaya a ser que un ladrón emocional se quiera apropiar de las tranquilidades cotidianas.

Cuando el gozo llega a extremos sorprendentes es el momento de huir y recoger la ropa, alisarse el cabello, la falda y la moral para volver otro día por un poco más y en esos casos jamás se debe uno de quedar ahí cual koala al bambú esperando el gratificante y muy necesario mañanero, porque el acto de dormir es incluso más íntimo que el de compartir los cuerpos del delito.

También se deben rechazar las llamadas y mensajitos post coitales; si, esos que nos reafirman que las lecciones de kamasutra y pole dance aprendidas en el you tube surtieron efecto.

…You must avoid to the maximum visual contact before, during and after the action, as it's well known that eyes are the window of the soul and you have to prevent a thief of emotions to take away your daily tranquilities.

When the enjoyment reaches amazing levels, it's time to run away and pick up your clothes, straighten your hair, skirt and morale so you come back another day for some more, and in those cases you should never stay there as a koala does with bamboo, waiting for the gratifying and very necessary early morning sex, because the act of sleeping is even more íntimate that sharing the corpus delicti.

You should also reject after sex calls and messages, yes, those that confirm us that the kamasutra lessons and pole dance learned thanks to YouTube took effect.

This post was part of the seventh #LunesDeBlogsGV [Monday of biogs on GV] on June 16, 2014.

Podcast: China's Leftover Women

Sinica Podcast invites Leta Hong Fincher, author of “Leftover Women“, a book about the state of women's rights and gender equality in modern China. 

The podcast discusses hidden problems and obstacles that Chinese women are facing in society including domestic violence and the “leftover women” issue. 

It's worth noting that according to the author, state media's propaganda, family-driven values and legal customs in things like the housing market “all effectively conspire to roll back much of the progress on gender equality China has made over the last twenty years.”


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