Monday, March 31, 2008

Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy is up

Via Lina.

I'll share some of what she writes about in this carnival.


Belledame writes about Sex
Positve Feminism here
and here.
See also Amanda Holloway's Statement
of Beliefs
, and SexPosFemme's look at 5
Sex Positive Feminist Myths
.

Iamcuriousblue argues that there
is such a thing as sex negative
:

The thing is, I don't feel that this is a particularly good reason to
drop
the term "sex positive", because there really is a such thing as
sex-negativity. It is something that has deep roots in Western culture, and
quite a few non-Western cultures as well, and continues to manifest itself
in
religious systems, political ideologies, and in other dominant
institutions like
law and medicine. And, yes, one of the places
sex-negativity comes up is in
feminism.



Queen Emily of Sexual
Ambiguities
writes about "Sexy
Feminism"
:

Remember the whole patriarchal virgin/whore binary? Why would you
simply
restate that by substituting "sexy feminism" with "whore?" Why?



Meanwhile, Renegade
Evolution
defends sex positive feminists against the stereotype that they
are "Young,
Dumb and Full of Cum
" in this absolutely storming post:

So call us what you want: Sex Poxes, Fun Feminists, Fuck-Me Feminists,
Traitors, whatever. Point is, no matter how young, dumb, and full of cum you
make us out to be, how clueless and treacherous and blind, the truth is
we’ve
seen what you have to offer, and as adult women with forethought,
intelligence,
and agency, chosen something else. The sex-positive
alternative.And I suspect
that stings. Just a little.


Here is some more (feminism):

Jill at Feministe asks for people's
thoughts on strategies for discussing feminism and sex work in Feminist
Feedback: Is sex work anti-feminist?


Obviously sex workers can be
feminists because there are sex
workers who are
feminists. I’m not big on
playing occupational Feminist
Police, and as far
as I can tell, sex workers have
long been on the
margins of society. They’ve
been shamed and they’ve pushed the
sexual
envelope, and in some ways they’ve
been at the forefront of challenging
the patriarchal model of women and
family.
Sex workers — those who
do it
voluntarily, without coercion —
are the most obvious “whore” side
of the
virgin/whore dynamic. And by
voicing their opinions and telling
their stories,
they break that dynamic
down by adding a complex, human
face to it, and by
refusing to be shamed or
bullied into proper feminine
submission.

I have
a rant about the feminist police in Actually,
yeah, I call myself a feminist
.

Juliette, a sex worker, writes on
what feminism means to her in Our Lady
Feminism
.

theemeraldqueen wonders if
she is a feminist in The I Questions
Herself
.

Holly at The
Pervocracy
defends her right to be a feminist AND
like men
:

I'm a feminist. I really am, dammit. Our culture is
permeated
with weird
ideas about femininity (and masculinity!) and it
desperately
does need to
change. But if you don't take a realistic worldview and
respect the people
you're trying to change, you're not getting anywhere.
And if
you don't have
sex until we reach perfect equality, well, buddy,
you're never
gonna get
laid.

Marianne at Indiscretion writes Don't Box Me
In
, rejecting the labels put upon her:

Somehow, after the decades of
efforts that have gone into giving
us choice,
we still ended up with boxes. You
drive your children to
karate and soccer
and piano lessons every night of the
week … ah, you’re
a mom. You… you slept
with a man on your first date with
him…
you’re
a slut. You climbed the
corporate ladder by the time you’re 30…
you’re
aggressive and
career-obsessed. You write about being spanked… you’re
the
quintessential anti-feminist.

Snowdrop Explodes is also
wondering Why
Do People Cage Things?


Bound, Not Gagged's Jill
Brennerman sets out what she believes in and what she and her colleagues do
to
help sex workers in Sex
Workers Human Rights Statement, condoms, humanist goals
.

... given
that there is so much garbage out there about sex
workers being
pro
trafficking, or for coercion, or whatever those that
oppose us come
up with.
I felt it was important to put this out again.


Here is some more (and perhaps, the most important part of the entire carnival -- porn):




Anthony Kennerson and Renegade Evolution take down Maggie Hays for her post 'On Choices' in More Agit-Prop from the 'Ex-Slut' Feminist Factory: Maggie Hays Latest BS Mountain (Anthony Kennerson) and Huh, why does she keep doing this when she probably doesn't want the answers or replies that differ from her own opinions... (Renegade Evolution).

Megan at daily dose of queer writes about Australia's attempt to clean up the internet in Australia to Ban Porn.

figleaf of Real Adult Sex muses on Kink.com in Light Can Shine Through Any Window.Barking Star at Sex in the Public Square asks Where are the guys? in discussions on sex work and pornography.

Renegade Evolution says if she wants to talk porn she will! She talks about porn being "bad" in a little secret, why she loves porn, and the right to choose (which also refers to abortion). Here, she writes about being Pro Porn and NOT feeling civil:


WARNING: THIS is OFFENSIVE. If you consider yourself anti-porn, feminist,
humanist, WHATEVER…if you feel that porn, or the sex industry, or any such thing
is BAD for society, if you feel that women who work in such industries are being
victimized, or are whores, or are stupid, or that such things make men rapists,
if you object to objectification or rough sex or all of that good stuff, if you
think, in essence, that YOU and all those on YOUR side are RIGHT and the REST of
us are violent, antisocial sexually twisted perverted animals or sad, beaten,
defeated little victims with no sense of judgment or morality or intelligence,
well then, READ THIS at your own risk.


In Ugh, Trinity at the strangest alchemy writes about an anti-porn article she came across:


I really don't like most anti-porn articles. I read a rather poppy, peppy one in
my therapist's waiting room today (which is a bit amusing, considering how one
of their major criticisms was that porn viewing is supposedly Feminism Lite),
and wow, assumption city.


Here is some more of the carnival (sex):


Bitchy Jones contemplates
an
article in the Guardian
claiming that "The vagina accommodates what’s offered" in On Being
Straight.


Renegade Evolution
contemplates the Politics
of Sex, Female Perspective
.

There is little doubt in my mind that
for the most part, men and women,
in general, view sex a bit differently.
Yes, there are individuals who blow the
bell curve (raises hand) but over
all, yep, I think they tend to look at it
differently. And yep, sure enough,
I think most, a lot of people, male and
female, like sex. I've never called
a radical feminist a prude, because I think
most radical feminists like sex.
Nods. Yep. I do I do. I am pretty sure most
people, no matter their
politics, like sex...and my theory on the matter has
always been a bit like
the Burger King Mantra: have it your way. I am all for
adults, who are
consenting of course, having the kind of sex they want to have
and doing
what they enjoy...even if other people don't like it or understand
it.


Natty of Natty's
Spanking
Blog
writes about feminism
and domestic discipline
. Dw3t-Hthr also writes about
being in a D/s relationship in Centres
of Power
, Greta
Christina
considers Punishment
and Elle asks people to stop
equating aggressive sex with rape
.

Sex Greek writes about BDSM in kink
and campus controversy
. See also the
queen of the con: carol queen on bdsm and sex work
, coming out
kinky
and working
out the kinks of working out the kinks
.



Here's some more (sex work):


Bound, Not Gagged's Amanda
Brooks writes about the
term "sex worker"
:
...somehow sex workers are still not seen as human
enough to deserve the autonomy to identify themselves with their own
language,
even though “sex work” has been around for more than 20
years.

Governer Eliot Spitzer is unsurprisingly a common theme in posts
about
prostitution of late. Susie
Bright
, Amber
Rhea
, LitChick, Kristen, Elizabeth
Wood
, Courtney, Melinda, Bound,
Not Gagged
, Audacia
Ray
, Calico, Tom
Paine
and Radical Vixen all
comment. Violet Blue,
meanwhile, is Bored
of Sex Scandals
, Lux
Alptraum
wonders why
we even care
, while Susie Bright asks why
WASPs stand by their cheating man
and Pan/Thanatos wonders
about the wives
. Speaking of sex scandals, Anastasia writes about Max Mosley
in When Sex
Fantasy Becomes Public
.

Renegade Evolution
writes
about her experiences as a sex worker and shows the inappropriate use of
the
words "rape" and "violation" used by anti-porn feminists in Choice,
Words, and my annoyance with the antiporn/anti sex work & RadFem
Contingent
. She also discusses the differences between the pro-porn and
anti-porn movement in this must-read post, The
Difference
.

The issue of sexwork is a volatile one, both for
feminists and
non-feminists alike. For those who take up the issue, it seems
that they have
fallen into two major camps: The anti-sex work camp, and the
pro-sex work camp-
titles which are simplified and generalized and often
misleading, but seem to be
the best we have at this time.


The Dominatrix Next
Door
writes
about Eight Ways To Revolutionise the
Sex Industry
.

Chris Hall asks What Good is Sex
Work?


Too often in discussions of sex work -- and sexuality in
general -- it
seems like we on the pro-sex side take on a defensive stance
that inherently
limits our success from the very beginning. One of the
linchpins of many of our
arguments is that using pornography or paying sex
workers for their services
doesn't hurt anyone, and is a private matter
that's strictly between the people
involved; so Gail Dines and Robert Jensen
and Melissa Farley should just mind
their own business and find some real
battles to fight. And that's true, as far
as it goes. But the flip side of
that argument is that it concedes ground
immediately because underneath the
surface, there's the implication that these
things should stay private
because they are a little shady, and the best that
can be said about them is
that they don't hurt anyone else. By accepting that
argument as our starting
point, the best that we can ever do is maintain the
status quo and not slip
even deeper into the morass of puritan self-loathing
that already drives our
national obsessions about sex.


Sex Worker Advocate at Bound,
Not Gagged
asks Is
Prostitution Ever a Choice? Is Persecution Ever a
Choice?


Calico wonders Why
Not Pay?


Radical
Vixen
comments about an
article found in Creative
Loafing Atlanta
about a man in war against the town's prostitutes. In Spying on Sex
Workers
, Radical Vixen points to other stories of sex workers being
harrassed and the need to legalise prostitution:

There is nothing
shameful about seeing a sex worker. Sex workers of all
kinds meet specific
needs. Outlawing different types of sex work doesn’t make
these needs
magically disappear. If Gower and Bates really wanted to deal with
these
“problem prostitutes” how about being an activist for legalizing
prostitution? If these women didn’t have to fear arrest they could work out
of
their homes. They wouldn’t be hanging out in these men’s neighborhoods
and they
wouldn’t be risking arrest. They would have better working
conditions and likely
make better wages.


Juhu Thukral from Women's
News
also emphasises
the need to protect prostitutes rather than condemn
them in Sex
Workers Need Safety, Not Prosecutors
.

A.J. Luxton writes about Supply,
demand, and consequences
:

Since everyone’s in trouble anyway,
prostitution moves in — the bad kind,
the really bad kind, unregulated and
disease-spreading and below-cost. Drugs
move in. A regulated business where
women could work in safety becomes an
uncontrolled underground market. I
don’t think I really need to explain why
those are bad. Since nude dancing
is suddenly conflated with prostitution, the
clientele immediately slide
towards becoming a prostitution clientele, trying to
get more for their
money – women who don’t want to enter that line of work are
out of work, or
have to move to another area.


Jenny Penny asks "Why
aren’t sex
workers allowed to take part in the conversation about themselves?"
in To
the Swedish government: Prostitutes may have something to say about
prostitution! (radical suggestion I know)
. I look at an academic study
on
policing prostitution in Canada in the late 1980s that addresses the
issue of
including sex workers in discussions in Legalise
It / Don't Legalise it
.

Penny Red writes in Barely
Legal
:

The functional illegality of prostitution in the UK serves
only one
purpose: to better allow the police and others to bully and pick on
the most
vulnerable members of society - mostly young, mostly women, almost
exclusively
poor and desperate, often chemically addicted and forcibly on
the wrong side of
a sexually conformist-heteronormative privilege
divide.


Madam Butterfly of Blissful
Desires
writes about regulating prostitution in Regulating
Prostitution and its various business models
.

Regulation is
needed that addresses the industry abuses but allows women
the freedom to
choose this profession and practice it in safety. Good
legistlation would
allow the providing of pleasure to those who need it and
income and
protection if worded correctly to the workers providing the
services.


Kerry
Howley
examines the Good
Arguments Against the Legalization
of prostitution; "In responding to a
lot
of bad arguments against legalization, I’ve neglected the good ones.
"

Tom Paine looks
at
arguments for and against prostitution in Prostitution:
Victimless Crime?


Elaine Vigneault kicks Amanda Marcotte's arse in If
It Came Out Of Your Ass, It's probably Shit
.

I didn’t know this
before,
but apparently Amanda is an expert on these things: men who pay sex
workers,
Nevada brothels, Amsterdam brothels, child prostitution (which is
wrongly
labeled, explained below), and human trafficking. Amanda is also an
expert on
just about everything else. Now, let’s break this down a
bit…


Radical Vixen is reminded
of
the value of sex work in Touching.

Dw3t-Hthr considers
the
healing power of sex in this poweful post How
I Didn't Lose My Virginity
.

Also by Radical Vixen: Amanda
Brooks
is profiled as part of Vixen's Sex
Workers Solidarity series
.

Red Spine muses on
emotional labor and exploitation
.Secondhand Rose writes about
sex work being at times emotionally draining in Filing
Myself
.

We too want, need, conversations in which someone listens
to us and
considers our needs, not just their own. We too want, require,
some identity
besides that of servicing sexual needs.




Here's some more (protrayal of sex workers in the media):


From Bound, Not Gagged,
Faith O'Donnell writes about how a New
York Times article
merely perpetuated the stereotype of sex workers in How the NYT
Got an Interview Wrong
while iamcuriousblue, also of Bound, Not Gagged,
points to a good article in the NYT: The
Double Lives of Call Girls
.

Ernset Green of pro-porn activism
points to the LA Times for a good,
sensible article on prostitution
.

Elizabeth Wood
also writes about a New York Times in The
Myth of the Liberal Media, or Further Evidence that the NYT is an Elitist
Newspaper
:


The
story itself
is worse than the headline. It contains stereotypes,
overgeneralizations, faulty logic, bad assumptions and lots of other problems
that I warn my students about. And aside getting the prostitution stuff wrong,
it’s very clear message is this: don’t try to pass yourself off as belonging to
the upper classes if you weren’t born and bred among them.


Gracie Passette and Secondhand Rose say Shame on you, Diane
Sawyer
at Sex in the Public
Square
and Secondhand
Rose
. Serpent Libertine of Serpent
Libertine, Sly Sex Pro
also calls Diane Sawyer out in Diane
Sawyer is full of shit
. Stacey Swimme is equally
as unimpressed
.

Chris Hall of Literate Perversions in Sex Workers
Awareness: A New Voice in the Media Wilderness
writes:

As is typical of American discussions of sex, the Kristen/Spitzer scandal
didn’t turn into an opportunity to talk about the realities of sex work, or the
ways that our private desires diverge from our public declarations, or anything
resembling a forthright discussion of sexuality. It was just another opportunity
to obsess about sex as if it were a particularly ugly scab that just won’t stop
itching.


Radical Vixen praises an article
from Reuters
in Lusty Lady
Peepshow
.

Audacia Ray explains why
sex workers aren't represented in the media
:

Sex workers aren’t represented in the media because the media does not
create space for us to talk intelligently about the issues that face us. Like I
said in my post last night, we are being cast into roles, roles that are nearly
impossible to break. We’re afraid of being abused and manhandled by a media that
has no interest in our well being, only in our cunts and the details of how we
got to be so bad.


Finally, be sure to check out Red Light District Chicago Sex
Worker Media: 'Sex Workers Making the Media so the Media Doesn't Make
Us'
.


Here's the last part (society):



Daylight Atheism writes about the importance of challenging the attitude that sex is wrong in De-Mystification.

... more fundamentally, we need to confront the belief system that lies at the heart of these and many other sexual ills. Rather than just disseminating facts, we need to change attitudes - specifically, the attitude that sex is a dangerous, mysterious thing that should be kept a secret and not talked about. This is an ignorant and fearful mysticism, and it needs to be dispelled.


See also Greta Christina's post on The Blowfish Blog: Sexual Perspective, or How Can You Eat That?

Curvaceous Dee laments society's embarrassment at the naked female form in The Naked Truth.

C.L. Hanson links sexual behaviour and class in Come on baby, won't you show some class? (more on primate sexuality).

Kim responds to the suggestion that My Little Ponies have been sexualised in My Little Tally-Hos?

I may not be the best writer in the blogosphere and heaven knows, I'm certainly not the best feminist in the blogosphere, but I tell you what: to my knowledge, I am quite possibly the best blogging, feminist, equestrian writer who also happens to have a boatload of My Little Ponies right here in my home -- remember? I therefore feel fully qualified to take on the task of reviewing this article.


Drakyn is thinking about Skewed Words:

Bigots often take the words those they hate use to define themselves and skew their meanings to make their 'opponents' look ridiculous and make them defend against a straw-argument.This is true, we see it all the time with right-wing assholes saying they aren't homophobic because they aren't afraid of queer folk.I used to argue against this conservative woman who refused to call "homosexuals" gay because gay meant happy and very few "homosexuals" were truly happy (and they were going to hell).If anything, bigots who twist words like this remind me of a heterosexist twelve-year old on that same forum who kept getting mad and offended because she refused to look at my definitions for things and instead 'clarified' my posts with AskJeeves.


Renegade Evolution has also been thinking about language in Okay, Let's Talk About.

Suzanne Reisman takes down the Madonna / Whore dichotomy, including interesting and relevent links to others who have blogged about the binary oppositions that exist in the female stereotype.

Dw3t-Hthr writes about women owning their sexuality:

But when I see people talking about sexuality, especially women's sexuality, I look for the code language to sort out who they think owns it. Because people who think that they have some level of entitled position to control someone else's sexuality without explicit consent ... are scary, scary fuckers.


Renegade Evolution talks about stereotypes in "because they portray a sexualised cartoon of female sexuality".

I say no, and I always have. My mini skirt does not oppress you, nor am I a paraody of your sexuality. Neither is any other woman, trans or otherwise. We are all our own people.Who get to be “us”…in whatever packaging we choose, and regardless of your “obia’s” and “ism’s”. The world owes you nothing. And neither do we.


Here's the Finally portion:

  1. Audacia Ray (at Viviane's Sex Carnival) draws our attention to supporting the Rape and Incest National Network.
  2. Sex 2.0 is coming up!
  3. Check out Amber Rhea's blog, Viviane's Sex Carnival and Sugasm for regular links to sites that may be of interest.
  4. The next edition of the Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy will be held at Labyrinth Walk on the 21st April 2008.
  5. Want to host a carnival? Email me - uncool [DOT] blog [AT] gmail [DOT] com

Thank you Lina for doing this!

Prince Fielder is a vegan

This will no doubt make Elaine Vigneault thrilled. I overheard last month on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption that the 2007 Home Run King was going veg. Via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

As Prince Fielder matures, he's not afraid to try new things.

At the plate and on his plate.

Fielder is known as a large, imposing figure on the field. He was a home run machine last season, a most valuable player candidate and one of the game's brightest young stars. He has personality and a first name that takes someone special to bear.

What else can one share about the 23-year-old first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers that hasn't been said or written?

Try this: Prince Fielder is a vegetarian.

That 6-foot, 260-pound build is powered by wheatgrass, soy and tofu nowadays. No meat. Not even fish.

It wasn't always this way. Fielder used to enjoy a stacked burger or a juicy steak as much as any carnivore, but a few weeks ago he received a book from his wife, Chanel, that changed his outlook on what he puts in his massive frame. The book described how certain animals are treated and slaughtered for food.

The youngest player to hit 50 home runs in a season was grossed out, so much so that he made his last meaty meal a salmon filet before quitting the animal game on Feb. 3. He has even dabbled in a vegan lifestyle but admits that might be pushing things a little.

"After reading that, (meat) just didn't sound good to me anymore," Fielder said. "It grossed me out a little bit. It's not a diet thing or anything like that. I don't miss it at all."

Fielder didn't make the decision to change his body style, which has been as much a calling card for him as his ability to whack baseballs out of sight. In fact, he doesn't even know how much he weighs or if he has lost weight since becoming an all-veggie man.

He does know his favorite vegetarian food so far is Boca Burgers, a burger patty made from soy protein and wheat gluten. But he is obviously still a newbie because he has to "load it up with ketchup" for it to be just beyond tolerable.

Fielder, who is also sporting dreadlocks in their infancy, said he has a lot more energy than he did before the new diet, and his body feels cleansed - in more ways than the public should know.

Besides his food intake choices, Fielder would like to make another change in his life, like not being the National League's error leader at his position. He committed 14 last year and ranked in the cellar for fielding percentage at first base. Fielder did not know he was that bad until Chanel pointed it out.

The stat bothered him. Fielder thought about gaining a reputation as a masher who could only crush a baseball, not field one. He gagged at the thought. So this spring training, he reported almost a week early with a new glove and the intention of hounding third base coach Dale Sveum, who instructs infielders.

"I'm definitely going to do things more without Dale having to come get me," Fielder said. "I'll go grab him. I really want to become an all-around player."

Fielder used a Rawlings glove last year and stayed with that brand because he knows a lot of Gold Glove-winning fielders use it. His thinking is on the same lines as a kid who believes Air Jordans might make him jump higher.

"So I can at least fake it till I make it," Fielder said, laughing. "If I keep faking myself out into thinking I'm good, it'll happen. Just fake it till you make it, baby."

Jokes aside, one thing Fielder never has to fake is his offensive proficiency.

Fielder finished last season with a .288 average, .618 slugging percentage, a franchise-record 50 home runs, and 119 runs batted in. He was feared at the plate and pitched around at times, yet even in the last week of the season was trying to improve.

On Sept. 25, with Fielder sitting on 48 homers before a game against the St. Louis Cardinals, he was in the batting cage working on his swing. Fielder was getting frustrated with the results and used hitting coach Jim Skaalen as a sounding board.

The coach had some clear words for the slugger.

"I told him, 'Will you just shut up and go out there and hit two tonight and get this (stuff) over with?' " Skaalen said. "And he goes, 'Yeah, you're right! I'm gonna do it right now!' And he did it."

But Fielder is never satisfied. He wants to be a better run producer, meaning he wants to run the bases better, hit smarter, be patient when pitchers nibble and, when he does tally outs, make them productive ones.

He wants to shine on defense. He wants to sparkle at the plate.

And while doing both, he wants to keep the greens on his plate and the beef out of his belly.

But there is a catch, warned Fielder.

"My wife said that if I lose some power, she's cooking me a big steak."


Here's to hoping that Mr. Fielder hits more than 55 HRs/season as a vegan.

The answer to the final Women's History Trivia question

On Friday, I asked for the first female House Speaker in United States History. Nancy Pelosi is the answer.

That is it for Women's History 2008.

Elite Eight is now set

Now it is down to eight.

Connceticut will meet Rutgers, this time for keeps. Maryland will hook up against Stanford, Tennessee will spar against Duke and North Carolina will play against Louisiana State in what is essentially a home game for the Bayou Bengals.

The winners of these will be in the Final Four.

Stop the stonewalling and support the REAL ID Law

COLUMBIA -- Gov. Mark Sanford will make an important announcement concerning the REAL ID Law today.

I hope that he will give up the no-win fight and support the REAL ID Law. As will all of the other states that objected to it.

The REAL ID Law is the most sensible law that we have ever had. It makes everything uniform and most importantly, it saves the people who check for identification a lot of paperwork. Also, the law secures all the IDs we have.

The state governments that objected to the REAL ID Law have addressed not one legitimate concern about the law. They only spouted out the hot air that came from their biggest donors.

Today is the deadline for seeking an extension to the law. I hope that South Carolina and all of the other states that have been delaying their efforts to back the REAL ID Law would finally stop their delay and support this important and much needed law. A little bit more inconvience is well worth it.
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