See no Evil

We featured a trailer for the documentary Bully here yesterday. A film everyone should see: teachers, parents, politicians and, of course, kids. Kids are the ones being bullied and most often kids are the ones bullying. Kids may not be able to change the world but they can be a vital and very important part in the fight against bullying. Kids need to be reached about this topic.

Alas the MPAA, the Motion Picture Association of America, disagrees. The MPAA is the organisation that, when it’s not busy writing censorship laws both for the USA and other countries, is rating films to help parents decide if a film is appropriate for their kids. The problem is: These people are nuts. They’re not only thinking seeing someone naked in a film will harm a teenager more than watching people blowing each other’s brains out, they also believe that “harsh language” a.k.a. swearing in a film means it’s not safe to be watched by anyone under 18.

Obviously a film about bullying contains some not-so-nice words. That’s what bullies do after all: not being nice and gentle. But rather than facing the problem by showing kids (and everyone else) what is happening in schools every day, what is driving kids into suicide, the MPAA deemed the film Bully to be to harsh for teenagers and rated it R (“restricted” which means 18+). This means many students won’t be able to see the film, many schools won’t show it as they planned to before the rating was published.

Reuters has more about this, thanks to Wonderphile for the heads up.



"More than 18 million young people across the US will be bullied this year. This alarming documentary takes us into the disquieting day-to-day lives of five kids and their families over the course of a school year. Two families are left devastated by their sons’ suicide, while one mother faces her 14-year-old daughter’s incarceration after she threatens her bullies with a gun. Rare access to the Sioux City Community School District captures up close and disturbing ‘on the ground’ footage of bullying in classrooms, playgrounds, cafeterias, and school buses. Kids who are made into outcasts at school become the film’s heroes as they defend their right to be different and courageously give testimony to the trauma and dangers of severe bullying. "


The film comes out March 30.


Transgender Sterilization Finally Dying

There is no good reason why our passports & IDs should hold any information about our genitals. Gender is a fluid concept and for many it doesn’t have anything to do with having a penis or a vagina, not to mention the fact that some people have both or neither. Alas we live in a world where only two genders are recognised and bureaucracy insists on aligning your gender to your genitals.

This may work for some people but it obviously is problematic for others. In many European countries and U.S. states transgender people, for example, have to undergo sterilization surgery if they want to legally change their gender. Forcing someone to undergo surgery, which always comes with risks, just because they want their ID to reflects their actual gender is just barbaric.

Transgender Rights Protest in SwedenTransgender Rights Protest in Sweden [Photo by murmeldjur / changement]

Sweden was trying to end this practise, that doesn’t really go well with their  reputation of being the paragon for gender equality & queer rights, for some time now. But while the oppositional parties (Left, Green & Social Democrats) and the major ruling parties (Moderates, Liberals & Centre Party) agreed on ending transgender sterilization, a very small, hardly relevant party (being at only 3% in the polls) of the ruling coalition, was holding back the indented change.

Luckily, after a nation-wide outcry over their position the leaders of said party, the Christian Democrats, came to their senses. Last week they published a statement in Sweden’s biggest newspaper saying:

We believe that even if there is an argument against allowing people who undergo gender reassignment surgery to become parents in their original sex, these reasons are not enough to justify the continued demand for sterilization. Therefore it is our view that the demand for sterilization on change of sex should be dropped.

Many transsexuals face hatred and fear which goes against the principle that all people are of equal value – the guiding principle for our traditional Christian beliefs, and therefore for the Christian Democrats.

PinkNews has more on the issue



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Kazuma Ikezawa Action Figure

The main character in Summer Wars is Kenji Koiso. He’s 17. But it was Kazuma Ikezawa, a 13-year-old side character and computer hacker, who was made an action figure by Alter (or their male line Altair) last year. I happened to come across it in a small otaku shop in Akihabara in December 2011.

I guess I never fully understood the obsession with action figures until I found this one. Or when it found me. Or shall I say when he found me? :p What a beautiful craft by sculptor Sen-U Tanaka!

I did buy some smaller action figures before, mainly from Ashita no Joe and Sailor Moon. But never before did I happily pay over 6,000 yen for an action figure. Hello otaku world!


This post was first published on


Periodical Political Post *90

Queer News

  • Disgusting “don’t say gay” bill approved by Tennessee House Panel
  • Bill to allow gay marriage introduced in Australian Parliament may fail
  • Three men in UK have been jailed for distributing anti-gay leaflets
  • European court says Sweden is right to ban homophobic leaflets
  • Virginia school district wants to ban cross-dressing by students
  • Poll finds 80% of China’s youth have no problem with homosexuality

Other News

  • Every text, phone call, mail, visited website saved under UK spy plan
  • Canada wants warrantless internet spying, says critics support child porn
  • Australian police spies on internet and phone usage without warrants
  • Canadian universities let students pay to be spied on by copyright holders
  • New law in Hungary says you’re a criminal if you become homeless
  • Scientists say piracy causing entertainment industry no loss whatsoever