Archive for ‘disability’

July 18, 2008

The Sixth Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy

First of all, I’m sorry for putting this up so late. It should have been up on the 14th, but it’s been a strange and generally horrendous week. Then again, delaying it by a few days did mean I was able to include some really good posts that were written after Monday. So here it is, and I hope you enjoy it.
(Note: some links are NSFW, but you would expect that, wouldn’t you?)

Women Looking:
In June, this post led a number of feminist bloggers to make it Female Desire Week. Some (Belle did a particularly stellar job) used this as an excuse to post shiny pictures of people we desired. I’m a big fan of objectification.

While guestblogging at Feministe, Natalia Antonova wrote about why she objectifies men:

I do think that because of power differentials, objectification of women more readily becomes a springboard for abuse, and worse. But I do think that there is a genuinely OK way of expressing one’s appreciation for someone else’s physical body and/or persona (and hell, a beautiful mind can be just as sexy). And I want more women to be comfortable with expressing their views on men and women that they find attractive, and even be superficial about it.

Much discussion followed, in the comments and elsewhere.

Then Dw3t-Hthr had this gorgeous post about looking too.

Sex work:

Renegade Evolution posts about her participation in the William & Mary debate, which she describes as one of the most empowering things she’s done in years.

And I’m sure I made some people angry. I know I made some people laugh. I know that before that event a whole lot of people would never think that a porn performer might also play “World of Warcraft”. I’m certain they weren’t expecting me to compare anal sex scenes to yoga. They probably never, when thinking of a woman in porn, figured that I had a husband, a Saturn, and literally lived just a few hours up the road from them. Well, they certainly had to see, as I was sitting there in the same room with them, that there really is a whole lot more to me than a set of implants and a couple of holes, that I was anything but a woman with no other options and a drug habit, that I had, indeed, picked my career, by choice, of my own free will, and that…well, I even like my job.

Here’s Ren again on sex workers’ rights and being an ally.

Kim clarifies her position on porn. One of the things she says –

My biggest concern with porn is how it has the potential to shape our expectations of sex and our expressions of our individual sexuality. I have this concern especially for kids and teenagers. I am concerned that young people could see some of this stuff and think they are “supposed” to do that. That girls will think they are supposed to like getting a wad of secretion in the face, for example. Or that they are supposed to repeat “Oh God, oh God, YES, YES, YES” over and over and over and fucking over — when probably at best they feel nothing, at worst, pain.

is something that worries me too. Here is an older post by Ren on the subject.

Radical Vixen continues her Sex Worker Solidarity series with this interview with Catalina.

Naked Feminist talks about being a feminist sex worker and the double standards she faces.

Grace, on how to be a good customer.

Elizabeth at Sex in the Public Square questions “Stop Porn Culture”‘s violation of porn laws.

It is galling to watch SPC use the work of the people they most claim to despise, and to freely distribute images they think nobody else should be able to distribute. And it is especially galling to watch them talk about the exploitation and humiliation of the women in the images all the while continuing to humiliate those same women by publicly exposing in and then condemning their work.

Renegade Evolution has written extensively about section 2257, and addresses this particular instance here.

Ideologically Impure writes about the state of the industry in New Zealand five years after the Prostitution Reform Act.

What kind of people go to brothels? They’re sleazy, lonely, gross guys who can’t get lucky in normal bar situations. And they’re well-dressed businessmen with platinum Amexes having a fun night out. They’re surprisingly often American tourists, here for work or vacation, checking out what a fabled Legal Sex Industry looks like. They’re young, happening, attractive guys who’d have no trouble with women just coming in for a laugh and a 21st-birthday ritual. They’re obnoxious loud drunks looking for a place that’s still open, quiet reserved guys with really particular tastes, regulars who all the workers know and love. They’re guys I know, who to this day are quite open about having used sex workers; and they’re well-to-do Pillars of the Community who certainly don’t want it known where they’ve spent the occasional Friday night.

Via the
SWOP-East blog, an examination of a news headline that claimed 345 people had been arrested in a child prostitution sting.

Trinity on the “No Porn” pledge.

And if you’re in Chicago, you might be interested in attending the Desiree Alliance conference on “Pulling Back the Sheets: Sex, Work and Social Justice”.

Sex and Relationships:

Sappho at Noli Irritare Leones has had a series of sex and relationships posts recently – here, here, and here, for example.

And a post by Dw3t-Hthr on polyamoury, sexism, and related issues:

And sure, there are people — of all sexes — who like a lot of reasonably casual liasons. But one of the traits of that is that one isn’t marrying them, and thus they’re not “off the market”, if one wants to go all transactional like that. Once one gets into more serious relationships, one starts hitting limited resources — even if one has infinite money, infinite desirability, and infinite sexual stamina, one has limited time.

And finally,
Things that I couldn’t think of a category for but that you should read anyway:

Penelope Friday on being disabled and writing erotica.

Whatsername writes a deeply personal post about rape and false accusations.

…and I think that’s it, for now. I have much love for Lina, who ended up doing more work than I did. The next carnival will be held at Tom Paine‘s on the 4th of August.

May 24, 2008

Survivor (Kindergarten edition)

I’ve just found this news item linked to on Trinity’s blog:

After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn’t like about Barton’s 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.
By a 14 to 2 margin, the class voted him out of the class.

Barton said her son is in the process of being diagnosed with Aspberger’s, a type of high-functioning autism. Alex began the testing process in February for an official diagnosis under the suggestion of Morningside Principal Marsha Cully.
Alex has had disciplinary issues because of his disabilities, Barton said. The school and district has met with Barton and her son to create an individual education plan, she said. His teacher, Wendy Portillo, has attended these meetings, she said.

Barton said after the vote, Alex’s teacher asked him how he felt.
“He said, ‘I feel sad,’” she said.

Alex hasn’t been back to school since then, and Barton said he won’t be returning. He starts screaming when she brings him with her to drop off his sibling at school.

Thursday night, his mother heard him saying “I’m not special.”
Barton said Alex is reliving the incident.
They said he was “disgusting” and “annoying,” Barton said.

Wtf. I know that kids in large groups at that age are often little assholes, but here it seems the teacher actually joined in. Having a group of kids individually tell a child why they find him “disgusting” and “annoying” cannot seem to me to be anything other than bullying. I cannot understand what the teacher hoped to gain from conspiring with the other students to publically humiliate him. When I was in primary school the kid we ganged up on was the one who picked his nose. I’m not sure what would have happened if we’d been given the chance to vote him out of the class.

Trinity also links to this excellent post by Amanda. Please read it:

Children aren’t born knowing how to behave towards other children. None of them are, autistic or non-autistic. They have to learn that everyone’s dependent on everyone else, that people aren’t better than others just by being better at something, and that tendencies to do bad things to other people are things we all have to fight, not give in to, if we want society to be remotely just to anyone.
And this teacher is leading these kids in the wrong direction to learn any of those lessons.