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On The Issues Magazine launched “Our Genders, Our Rights,” its Summer 2009 edition. A unique combination of articles, poetry, art and videos focus on a topic that is both utterly fundamental and wildly revolutionary: gender norms and gender identity.
Top writers discuss sex-selection abortion, gender expression, “Intersex” self-identification and a first-hand account of forced sex roles inside a polygamist compound in Texas.
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Merle Hoffman’s editorial, “Selecting The Same Sex,” provides philosophical and personal insights into the issue of sex-selection abortion.
“There is one place where the definition of gender remains binary – in the womb. When it comes to sonograms, amniocentesis and standard pre-natal testing, there are no nuances. Here, the pronouncement, “It’s a girl,” can translate into fierce and instant parental rejection. The fact is that when the issue is “sex selection abortion.” the same sex is always being selected — female.” For Hoffman, this issue highlights questions of ethics, human rights and the moral autonomy of women.
“It’s about separating the chooser from the choice,” writes Hoffman.
In “Busting Bogus Biology and Beliefs,” Mahin Hassibi notes: “For centuries, social constructs held that women owed allegiance and obedience to their husbands; children were the property of their fathers, who owned the children’s mothers.” Today, Hassibi says, discoveries in biology and reproductive technology may soon trump historical and cultural restrictions that wrongly limited women’s lives.
“My children would have undoubtedly been among the 439 seized in the raid,” writes Carolyn Jessop of the sweep through the polygamist compound. In “American Taliban: Sect Controls Women’s Destinies” Jessop gives an inside view of the abuse, misogyny and control of women’s bodies that continues today.
Writers also plunge into transgender concerns. “Asylum Pitfalls May Await the Transgender Applicant” by Victoria Neilson discusses the difficult process for trans applicants in the U.S. Eleanor Bader’s “Trans Health Care Is a Life and Death Matter” describes a pioneering feminist health program for trans patients in the South.
Photographic performer Tammy Rae Carland visualizes gender fluidity as the featured artist, and art editor Linda Stein conducts an interview with Elizabeth Sackler, whose passion for feminist art resulted in a new center at the Brooklyn Museum.