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Hello Sisters and Misters!

The exhibit of April Ashley: Portrait of a Lady has just started at the Liverpool Museum. This exhibit reflects the purity of spirit of this remarkable lady. Her story is an inspiring one for any one who doubts their own inner resolve in face of societal pressures.

The story is also one of a highly fashionable and successful fashion model and then activist. The 1960s was a time of innovation for our species on many fronts and England was the epicenter at the beginning of that time. We saw this memorialized in the London Olympics and we have to give credit where credit is due.

America took this revolutionary spirit and ran with it towards it's fullest extent as only a large continental country can, though in many ways, the rights of the gender diverse have lagged far behind.

April Ashley was one of the first Vogue fashion models to be transgender. Her body of work is extensive and approachable. Her work also has a vulnerability to it that at times shows the loneliness of having a fashion sense that is pioneering.

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Loneliness and vulnerability is heightened in the resolve it takes to live as one must in backward times and the abuse it can open one up to.

Just in these last few days we have seen that America still has far to go. Here in my own city, DC, the two assaulters of the drag performer Heidi Glum, namely Rachel M. Sahle, 22 and Raymone Harding, 28, of Gaithersburg, Md are getting a slap on the wrist with little more than a week of community service.

It seems that the suburbs hold more violence in them with wannabe thugs and thugettes who visit their false value system of violence on innocents.  They desperately want to prove their street cred in the big bad city more than any thing else.

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www.washingtonblade.com/2013/09/28/case-of-assault-on-drag-performer-expected-to-be-dropped-miles-deniro-raymone-harding-rachel-sahle-hate-crime/
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It is of note that the enforcers of street ignorance try to rule the streets using the same derision that is visited upon them. In this case the  scorn is heaped upon the idea that to choose to express femininity is an inferior weak choice. This is saying that to choose to be female is an inferior weak choice. This is a lie. It is only threatening to those unsure of how well they are pulling off their ruse of masculinity or femininity. 

We need to get our hands out of our pants while viewing the multi-billion dollar shemale porn industry long enough to pull the lever on propositions that support the inherent dignity and worth of transgender and gender diverse people in this country.

Creative expression and beauty leads us to freedom and calls us to where we should follow. Too much beauty is at stake to ignore this issue.







 
 
 
 
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Watch the  VMA Performance Here: http://www.mtv.com/videos/misc/942064/we-cant-stop-blurred-lines-give-it-2-u-medley.jhtml



Why Miley Cyrus is My Hero

Celebrity is nothing more than bank accounts, barricades, velvet ropes, asses with cameras invading your personal space, fleeting senses of achievement and more isolation than one person could reasonably handle. In the realm of cultural production, the paradigm of celebrity is suspect. It is the reification of the idealized life that closely resembles the false front that victimizers use to keep abuse secret. Abuse only thrives in the darkness of secrecy and celebrity uses velvet ropes, capped teeth, and personal assistants to help create a buffer zone as the public builds a cult of personality. This only compounds the difficulty in receiving useful assistance when dealing with life crises. The amen chorus only get you so far, when they are benefitting from your dysfunction.



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"Most people don’t even realize that much of the so-called ‘reality’ that’s sold to them is based on thoughts that are not even true, yet we can be locked up in nuthouses for not accepting ‘reality’ as it’s presented to us.” Sapphire-Angry Women

Today’s entertainment shows vividly display the dissipation of some celebrities’ sense of reality. To base a cultural production on rape culture engrains a self objectification expected by the fans and benefactors. To inhabit the roles of oppressor and oppressed drives out the individual’s sense of joy and pain replacing it with a numbness. We pour massive amounts of energy into celebrities like they're a billion dollar lottery ticket that we want to win. Once we don’t win, that ticket gets thrown in the gutter like all dreams that have rebuked us.



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Today is the I have a Dream 50 year Anniversary and there is still great injustice going on in America and it is not going to end until it is dealt with in the arena where it stings the most. The same arena that provides the philosophical underpinnings that inform the culture of America itself. 

The Media.

For the icons of current youth culture to turn their nose up to Miley is to be the fakest hypocrites that there are. They play coy with rape culture, overtly in the men’s case and subtly in the case of the women and then point their fingers at Miley. When they do this they are just falling into the game of separation and stratification leading to the objectification game of slut shaming. They are more afraid of Miley’s aggressive tongue and crotch grabbing than anything real. These stars that berate Miley should be pulled out of their Beverly Hills Mansions and roundly spat upon.

There are representations of life prevalent in the works of Miley Cyrus as a modern day artist rejecting the confining straight jacket of celebrity culture with its social strictures and rituals. Max Freely pointed me down this road partially when he wrote in his essay “The Trayvon Test", 

“I came to realize that all members of Western society are products (in one way or the other) of the ideological framework of SCWAMP. SCWAMP is Leslie Grimmer’s acronym for Straight, Christian, White, Able Bodied, Male, and Property Holding.”

He should have pointed out what an ideology is. When using the term “ideology” I am referring to the definition of the term in the sense of ideology as a paradigm embedded in culture that oppresses through distortion. Leslie Grinner has coined the SCWAMP acronym to describe an embedded ideology based on heterosexual (straight), Christian, white, able-bodied, male, and property holding. The rites associated with the class of property holder, male privilege, religious factionalism, youth and strength, and assumed heterosexual privilege should be pulled from culture and scrutinized for usefulness and potential to inflict pain through exclusion. 



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The structures of SCWAMP stratify human beings through experiential learning and ritual. As human beings we are drawn toward ritual and rites of passage. We must be mindful however in who is promoting the content, what it is that they are saying, and what (or who’s) purpose does it serve? bell hooks is one such writer who examines this question in detail in her famous 1981 book  Ain't I a Woman?

“The process begins with the individual woman’s acceptance that American women, without exception, are socialized to be racist, classist and sexist, in varying degrees, and that labeling ourselves feminists does not change the fact that we must consciously work to rid ourselves of the legacy of negative socialization.” 

“It is obvious that many women have appropriated feminism to serve their own ends, especially those white women who have been at the forefront of the movement; but rather than resigning myself to this appropriation I choose to re-appropriate the term “feminism,” to focus on the fact that to be “feminist” in any authentic sense of the term is to want for all people, female and male, liberation from sexist role patterns, domination, and oppression.” Bell Hooks, Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism.

Only through the phenomenology and epistemology of oppression can such progressive movements start to resemble the forms they were fighting.

Healthy communities are communities that end inequities by eliminating false categories of race, class, and gender. They are false constructs introducing stratification and false dichotomies in human relationships. 

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Miley Cyrus at the VMA’s was seeming to channel a Hindu goddess of sex. The media seemed horrified at the sight of her tongue and her facial expression and described her as “looking desperate” to which I would ask, desperate for what? Sex? OMG if she looks desperate for sex than that would make her a GASP! a SLUT! And there you have it, yet another example of the American Rape Culture attempting to shame women for being sexual beings. 

Enjoy your bodies, enjoy your lives, and don’t let the economic machine grind your sexuality into dust using the shaming techniques that they would have you submit to. You submit your sexuality, your life essence that is when they know that you are under other’s control and can place you in line to your beleaguered march toward being a mindless cog in the meat grinding machine.  

Yet what did Miley’s Dad think of all this?

US Magazine, Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 12:00pm (PDT)

… there's no telling what the "Achy Breaky Heart" singer, 52, may have said to Miley in private conversation, he told Entertainment Tonight that nothing's changed.

 "Of course I'll always be here for Miley. Can't wait [to] see her when she gets home," the "Hillbilly Heart" author told Nancy O'Dell of Cyrus' shocking, sexually provocative show inside Brooklyn's Barclays Center. "She's still my little girl and I'm still her dad regardless how this circus we call show business plays out. I love her unconditionally and that will never change."

A swing and a miss to try and drum up family controversy from the jaundiced media whores. The reaction photo of Will Smith and family was actually during Lady Gaga's opening performance. 



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The structure of SCWAMP is made evident the forms of art that the embedded ideology promotes, always a economic hurdle for the less moneyed classes, exclusionary, and based in hierarchy. Often with “learned” appreciation, these expressions of art are always promoted by hegemony.

“Some people act as though art that is for a mass audience is not good art, and I think this has been a very negative thing. I know that I have wanted very much to write books that are accessible to the widest audience possible.  http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/bellhooks186095.html 




 
 
 
 
The CEO of Lululemon Athletica (LULU) Christine Day, made a surprise announcement Monday that she would resign, setting off a new CEO search. She said she would step down once a successor is named. Day did not say what she would do next.

Howard Tubin, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, writes, “We assume Day’s pending departure is in some way related to the sheer pant issue.”- Lululemon's CEO Recalls Herself by Susan Berfield Business Week 6/10/13

The sheer pants recall qualified as a royal screw up as 17 percent of Lululemon’s popular black Luon yoga pants were pulled from shelves for being too sheer. The company’s chief product officer Sheree Waterson resigned in April as a result. Needless to say shareholders were not happy.
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This move is curious because Lulemon has been selling sheer yoga pants for years. The real question about Lulemon is has it become too big for its britches?  In trying to appeal to a narrow market share they have decided to jettison the sheer yoga pants. They are becoming more conservative and striving to become less provocative.  

What causes this perception of clothing being too provocative?  This perception comes straight from self denying dogmas from restrictive versions of religions. The power of the feminine body is then replaced with a shame of it. Patriarchy prefers most women to stay reminded of their second class citizenship. These negative attitudes come from a worship of materialism that can only reinforce itself through brute force.


 
 
Humans have survived thus far on this planet because in spite of hatred and war, we have in small and large ways demonstrated love for one another, a personal commitment to those we choose to commit to, and a general philanthropic attitude toward our fellow human beings. We form relationships, generally have lots of sex and promote the growth of the human race through our progeny and/or watching after and caring for the next generation.

When it comes to having lots of sex, we seek to find ways in which to express our exuberance and joy for sex. We create art and images depicting the various ways in which we excel at sensuality and being downright sexy. Some individuals call these expressions indecent and pornography. Risking the chance of offending the prudes among us I would take umbrage at the lumping in eroticism with pornography. The difference between erotica and pornography is that erotica is art intended to sexually arouse and true pornography is a violation of the human spirit. True pornography is a violation of the natural sexual impetus and promotes sickness, deviance, and death.

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Two authors wrote essays D.H. Lawrence and Margaret Atwood, to weigh in on this complex subject of what was considered pornography and what should be really considered pornography.  Atwood hints towards the naturalness of sexual arousal when decrying the loudest opponents of erotica, “Some of them were all set to stamp out bathing suits and negligees and, if possible, any depictions of the female body.” While D.H. Lawrence flatly states,” No matter how hard we may pretend otherwise, most of us rather like a moderate rousing of our sex.” Both seem to appreciate art intended to arouse sexual excitement.

Erotica is art involving a human being in a sensual way to promote sexual arousal. This is a healthy creative expression of sexuality. As such it never involves true violence because that is against the health generative basis of sexuality. There are those that have in the past and seek in the present to suppress all sexuality because they fear their own sexuality or worse are repressing their own natural desires.

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When something natural and good becomes suppressed it finds ways to find express itself anyway. For those who can’t escape the suppression, over a lifetime, in some healthy sexuality becomes filtered through a paradigm of control, power, and abuse. It becomes deviant and warped.

For D.H. Lawrence, it seems the level of disrespectful behavior involved determines whether sexual subject matter is considered pornography or not. He considers scatological behavior as a example of disrespect and detachment and the ultimate expression of true pornography, “the secret of the really vulgar and pornographic people, the sex flow and the excrement flow becomes the same to them.” His opinion is obviously weighted by the times he lived in. Scatological sexual behavior in present times is fairly harmless evidenced by the prodigious amounts of analingus being shown in today's sexual themed movies.

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Margaret Atwood has a more significant and dire description of true pornography as the ultimate detachment and violent disregard being imagery of mutilation, rape, and murder. This more accurately describes true pornography because of these dangers surfacing as a type of “sexuality” when it is really violence caused by objectification and hatred caused by a sociopathic need for destruction, a sense of powerlessness and the reaction of seeking violent control.  If it need be said, a sociopathic need for destruction and attendant violent imagery is not only disrespectful it is inherently sick because it is in opposition to the creative life flow and affirmation of life that true healthy sexuality represents.

One may argue about what is disrespectful in this day and age of role playing and sadomasochism. As I have shown both Atwood and Lawrence have common ground.  I interpret that both would agree that in sex that it is a matter of boundaries and the extent of respect and mutual agreement. When two adults consent to each other and their play is harmless and not destructive, then no one dare impinge on their freedoms. I would argue this would hold true even if the length of their mutual relationship is only for a night.

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I agree with the spirit of both Atwood and Lawrence toward sexuality and pornography. I believe that in true violent pornography at least one party, the model, becomes victimized. The model may think he or she is granting participation by modeling various behaviors but in violent pornography this is promoting detachment in both the model and the end user. What would happen in a relationship is rendered unknowable. This type of dyad opens the door to all sorts of abusive thought including, hatred, victimization, rape, and murder. Rape and murder are by nature, violent acts committed without consent against the will of another person.  Rape and murder are the ultimate forms of deviant pornography.


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With the recent horrors concerning the kidnapping and rapes of three girls by Ariel Castro in Cleveland make ones blood boil with rage and make reasonable people see red and seek to enact laws to more stringently define what is acceptable and what is not. While these sentiments are understandable in the face of such egregious abuseThe rights of people in a free society to express their healthy sexuality with each other and the erotica they would share should not be censored or constrained in order to prevent troubled people from visiting their sociopathic behaviors on others.


 
 
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I really love a fresh pair of good quality pantyhose. They are a pleasure to pull over my legs. This is why I can't stand runs, there is something disheartening about them. Instead of enjoying the feeling of a snug fit you feel as if suddenly things are unraveling around you. They are an instance in which you can't prevent the loss of your prestige and cachet. I feel that in the cavalcade of life runs are just some sort of unnecessary piling on. Like God saying “oh yeah and there’s that.”  Runs are the scourge and the bane of my existence. Now you may ask yourself dear reader,” Why do I care about runs in your pantyhose?" This is a valid question which I intend to answer.
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First let me introduce myself. My name is Kira Kaching, and it is nice to meet you. I am a person who is considered to have a blended gender expression. I prefer to say blended because it is better than other definitions and labels that some others would assign to me. I love the feeling of a good pair of pantyhose and have an affinity for most feminine things. This somehow makes me transgender. It has been a dreadful struggle for me when I have tried to repress my instincts. As a result I have developed an independent streak in me that has always defied those who would define me. I am not even particularly effeminate, that is when I am not wearing pantyhose.

For the uninitiated I would define pantyhose as an undergarment made from a fine elastic material that feels like silk and is relatively inexpensive. They come in many different colors and varieties and can be found at your local convenience store. I have tried to be cheap and bought the no-nonsense type of pantyhose but they run easily or get that shirred look with those horizontal lines that are a sure sign of excessive wear and most probably depression.

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Personally I prefer wearing sheer nylons with a nice gusset sewn in between the legs. A quality gusset is silky and elastic on the outside with a thin layer of cottony material on the inside against your body. The gusset is a fantastic wick for sweat. A well made gusset brings about a sense of comportment and pride that does not allow for even a hint of sagging, it must always be flush.

If you buy a good quality pair of nylons they will impart a warm, kinetic, luxurious sensation as you pull them over your legs. This is why you must shave your legs to fully enjoy their silky caress against your skin. I love the way my legs feel in nylons especially when they brush up against each other. There is no smoother sensation. The only thing that comes close to the smooth cling of pantyhose is the silky elastic act of lovemaking..


 

    Kira Kaching

    Philosophy with Fashion, Epistemology and Art Cosmology and Cosmetics

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