Audio Smut is a very cool radio show produced by a feminist collective in Montreal. It is part of a weekly radio series called Hersay and is broadcast on CKUT, from McGill University. Tonight I was interviewed by Seska Lee, one of the Audio Smut collective, about Sex in the Public Square and about the forum we had last week.
Click here to download the show. [http://secure.ckut.ca/64/mp3.20080305.18.00-19.00.m3u]
If you like what they're up to you can see their archives here and can subscribe to their podcast too.
Meanwhile, I'm taking off on tomorrow for SXSW Interactive and won't be back until Monday. It's my first SXSW, so if you have any advice leave it in the comments! If I get a chance to do some blogging while I'm in Austin, I will. I'm really looking forward to two sex-related sessions in particular:
If anyone wants to try their hand at dissecting this article , go for it. It certainly exemplifies a lot of the problems we've been discussing this week.
I have a lot of thoughts about the article, but I'm too disillusioned with Creative Loafing (some of you know my history w/ them, including their most recent offense w/ their representation of Steve Gower) to feel up to exerting the effort to write something.
I will say, though, that Rusty and I turned down a potential web development job from Innocence Atlanta (the organization mentioned in the article), because the language on their web site conflated voluntary adult sex work with child sex trafficking. The worst offender for me was a sentence that talked about ways business owners can help, and one of the things mentioned was "hire a reformed stripper."
I've got three different pieces of media swirling around in my head, making me think thoughts that maybe aren't perfectly developed, but definitely a good jumping-off point for conversation: Kerwin Kaye's post on Class, Race, and sex worker activism , the recent conversations about Susanah Breslin's working girl and john blogs, and a book I recently read, and had my ass kicked by - Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry (you can watch the Live Girl Review video about it here).
...if I’m not mistaken, we’re still waiting for the first fine for an NYPD Blue male ass. And you couldn’t go five minutes in the first few seasons without seeing one of those.The FCC's "indecency" rules prohibit certain images including those that depict sexual or excretory acts or organs from being broadcast between certain hours of the day (basically daytime and primetime hours). So it would seem that, at least according to the FCC, men's asses just aren't sexy.
I'm leaving the excretory inferences alone for now.
Herbert's column in the NY Times this morning reprises his claims about the misogyny of prostitution and pornography but in a different context this time and with some unwittingly apt parallels.
Readers of this blog know that I have a very different analysis of sex work, one that doesn't assume that prostitution or pornography are inherently and essentially misogynistic, so I won't reprise that here. (You can get a glimpse of some of that here and here) Instead, I'd like to point out some of the things I think make Herbert's analysis here especially weak, including some false assumptions about causality, and unfortunate parallels to sports and the military.
Missing the excitement of all those awards shows that you'd be enthralled by right now if it weren't for the intransigence of the Producers association? This contest is way better: Teens and young adults making videos demonstrating the need for improved sex ed programs.
You know that I've long argued in favor of age-appropriate comprehensive sex education for kids starting in elementary school and working through high school. You also know that's a hard sell in a nation that increases funds abstinence-only sex ed even while states are rejecting the money and even though research shows it to be ineffective.
To help spread the message about how necessary comprehensive sex ed is, and also about how bad a lot of the sex ed that teens now receive can be, RH Reality Check in partnership with SIECUS, Isis Inc., Advocates for Youth and the National Sexuality Resource Center sponsored a video contest. Young people were invited to send in short videos describing their sex ed experiences or envisioning the kind of sex ed they think is best.
The top 10 videos are posted here and you can vote for your favorite until January 16.
Radical Vixen, whose blog tagline I adore (Porn...peace...politics) responded to this past International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers by starting a Sex Worker Solidarity Series on her blog. What a brilliant idea. It's an interview series asking sex workers important questions about social change, feminism, and most of all, building solidarity within the ranks of workers. I'm a union junkie at heart and can't think many things more important in achieving social change than solidarity and organization.
Gracie, our newest correspondent, just tipped me off to the new interview with Secondhand Rose. This is the third interview in the series, and I hope you'll go over there and read it. It's fantastic. In it, Secondhand Rose discusses things like what's missing in feminism, why it is so hard for sex workers to have solidarity with one another, and why parallels between the gay rights movement and the sex worker rights movement give her a sense of optimism. One quote, just to tempt you into going over there and reading the whole thing:
Dear friend, Amanda Brooks, has an excellent post at Bound, Not Gagged. In it she discusses a certain big blogging kahuna and his ignorance of blogs & websites run by sex workers. Seems he's never bothered to look, just assume he's cooler than anyone else because he believes in his own 'blogger authority'.
Here's what I have to say about it .
It's been a while since I've posted here, and for my recent lack of desire to do much blogging, I must apologize. I've been feeling the urge creeping up, however. Whether that's a good or bad thing remains to be seen, I suppose. :)
As long as the subject of zoophilia is currently in the spotlight at UDoJ, let me bring up something that I've been pondering for several weeks. In France there is an AIDS awareness campaign out that plays on our societal aversion to the "Ickyness" (to borrow a phrase) of sexual contact with animals to make the point that sex can be dangerous.
Obviously the ads would never fly here in the United States. The modern fundamentalist religion movement has forcibly dragged the societal acceptance of rational discourse about sex and sexuality far enough into the closet to prevent the ads from ever seeing the light of day on billboards and bus stops. Visual depictions of sexuality on this level are verboten in public due to the appeasement by both our society in general and our government in particular of the medieval false-prudery of a group of people with no connection to reality.
Discussion continues, below the fold.
These two pictures accompany an article in this morning's Times on the presidential candidates' use of their opposition to NCLB (which stands for No Child Left Behind, not No Cheerleader left behind") as a way of rallying supporters.
Maybe it's just that my brain is still a bit addled from the end of the semester, and I'm only through my first cup of coffee this morning, but it seemed like an odd selection of images to me. Take a look. Then feel free to discuss in the comments whether or not these images matter at all.
This one is captioned "Students at Central High School in Davenport, Iowa, listening to former president Bill Clinton."