Elizabeth's picture

Verizon to its customers: NARAL 2 CNTRVSL 4 U

text messageThe New York Times reports this morning that Verizon has rejected a proposal by Naral Pro-Choice America to use its network for sending text messages to people who sign up for them. Other cell phone networks have accepted the proposal which allows subscribers to sign up to receive text message updates from NARAL.

According to a communication with Verizon that NARAL gave to the times, the company's policy is to reject proposals from groups that “promote an agenda or distribute content that, in its [Verizon's] discretion, may be seen as controversial or unsavory to any of our users.”

There are at least three very troubling pieces of this rationale.

Elizabeth's picture

New Feature: Sex Symbols

I'm using this photo to inaugurate what I hope will be a cool new feature on Sex in the Public Square. It's called Sex Symbols (unless someone suggests a better name for it) and it'll be an examination of material culture connected to sexuality, sex norms, gender roles, and so on.

I'd like this to have a fairly standard format so that it is recognized as a series across the site. The format could look like this: First a photo of the object (here it's a t-shirt but it could be anything that is tangible), then "What" (a brief description) followed by "Where/when" (a brief note about where/when the object was found) and then "Why? Discuss!"

The idea is to talk about what these bits of culture mean, how we feel about those meanings, what kinds of competing messages are out there, and so on.

Below is the first in the Sex Symbols series.


Walk of Shame Tshirt


JanieBelle's picture

She Should Run

Last night at my blog UDreamOfJanie I got this comment, from Joey Appley-Epstein:

Hi Janie Belle,
My name is Joey Appley-Epstein, and I’m writing to you on behalf of a project by the Women’s Campaign Forum called “She Should Run.” The goal of the project is to encourage both women and men to nominate inspiring pro-choice women to run for office — in every type of election from school boards to the United States Senate. So far, the project has collected 800 nominations and because of the positive feedback and response, we’ve decided to make a final push to 1,000 total nominations.

For this final push, we have decided to reach out to online communities for their help. The project focuses on the encouragement, empowerment, and election of pro-choice women. As you yourself are pro-choice I thought you might be interested in taking action for this movement. To reach our goal of 1,000, it certainly is going to be a community effort and we would really appreciate your help in discussing this special project before it concludes.

The greatest part of this project is that it’s the real thing, too, and not a superficial exercise by any stretch of the imagination. As the nominations have come in, the WCF has been following up to make sure these women receive the support and resources they need to run. They’re even planning their first training session with women who have been encouraged to run as a direct result of this project.

With that, here are some resources on the project:

Chris's picture

SXSW Countdown

As most of you know, Elizabeth has proposed a panel for SXSW Interactive 2008 called Pink Ghetto Blasters: Destigmatizing Sex via Online Community Building which she'll moderate with me, Lux Nightmare, Violet Blue, and Rachel Kramer Bussel as panel members. The online voting process is now drawing to a close; it ends Friday, September 21 at 11:59 PM, Central Time, so as of this writing, that gives us a little less than 36 hours to get all our friends to vote for us. Voting is easy; just go to the link for the panel above, go through a quick registration process, and give us five stars. That's all.

Elizabeth's picture

Early notes from the Blog-In at Bound, Not Gagged

Bound, Not Gagged screenshot Some quick early excerpts from the ongoing blog-in at Bound, Not Gagged , where sex workers and allies are challenging the mainstream media's distorted representation of sex workers.

From Karly Kirchner's "An Open Letter to Melissa Farley"

Sex workers are allies in the struggle to prevent and resist sexual assault and forced prostitution.

Chris's picture

Think Pink!

One of the first things you learn when growing up is that you don't have to be gay to be fag-bashed. Convincing everyone that you're hetero, whether you are or not, isn't just a matter of getting to hang with the cool kids or becoming class president; it's the difference between eating your lunch in peace or getting your teeth kicked in on a daily basis.

That's a grim, but universal truth, and the number of us that can testify to it makes the following story from Nova Scotia that much more cheering. When a new student dared to wear a pink shirt to Central Kings Rural High School, he was harassed by a group of about ten students who threatened to beat him up. Two of his classmates, however, decided to take action:

Elizabeth's picture

Now you can subscribe to the parts of the site that you like best!

Are you more interested in some parts of this site than in others? Now you can be notified when there is new content you're particularly interested in.

You'll notice now that each post has a "subscribe post" link. If you subscribe to a post you'll get an email any time that post is updated or gets a new comment. If it's a blog post there will also be a "subscribe blog" option. That'll let you know whenever a new entry is posted on that blog.

More intersted in subscribing to a particular topic area? If you click on your "My subscriptions" link (under your name if you're logged in) you'll see that you can subscribe to categories (tags) or to content types. Want to know anytime something is posted with the tag "sex work"? Now you can subscribe to that catgory. What to know any time a new link is added? Subscribe to links.

We owe this new capability to Chris, who was apparently looking for something to do around 5am today.

Thanks Chris! 


Elizabeth's picture

Quickie: TS principal is a role model

Over breakfast this morning I read in the New York Times about Genna Surici, a high school principal in Ulster County New York who was beginning the new school year after making the transition from male to female.

Here are a few quick and notable quotes from the article.

“We’re educating our students in more than English, history or science ... We’re educating them in compassionate living; that is what it’s about. It’s a revolutionary process happening right here. And she was an incredible principal before, but a better principal now.” (Margo McLoone, English teacher)


JanieBelle's picture

Congress Votes to Repeal Global Gag Rule

Zimbabwe 1, by babasteve @ FlickrA great big peek above our garters to Chris at SitPS for pointing us to Heather, and to Heather at Scarleteen for pointing us to this:

Via Tod Preston at RHRealityCheck:

Last night, despite President Bush's veto threat, the Senate passed the FY 2008 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (by a vote of 81-12) that includes significant provisions overturning destructive policies on family planning and HIV/AIDS. Thanks to the leadership and commitment of Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the Senate bill not only includes the identical measures in the House-passed bill (H.R. 2764) -- exempting contraceptives from the Global Gag Rule and repealing the abstinence-only funding restrictions for HIV prevention programs -- it goes even further by repealing the Gag Rule entirely.

Chris's picture

My First Time: A Scarleteen Promotion


I've written before about how Heather Corinna is one of my heroes of the Internetz.  Almost single-handedly, she created and has maintained Scarleteen, the single finest internet resource for teens to learn about sex, either queer or straight, without learning gobs and gobs of garbage about Virginity or Marriage is the one and only way.  Scarleteen is essential for anyone who gives a shit about sex or about teens, and it behooves all of us to make sure that it and Heather are in good shape. 

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