New York Times

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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)


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Another irresponsible piece on sex work

I'm trying to decide what makes me maddest about Bob Herbert's recent op-ed pieces about sex work in Las Vegas.

It might be his use of a tug-on-your-heartstrings story and alarmist title in today's piece, "Escape from Las Vegas." In that piece he uses Amber, a 19 year old with a disabled mother and an abusive and drug addicted step father, who finds herself stripping in Las Vegas as representative of all sex workers:

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“No Jewish whores” at the NY Times online, but what about in print? (Debbie Nathan)

Debbie Nathan, super-smart journalist documenting issues of gender and international politics, notes an interesting discrepency between the print and Internet versions of a New York Times story about a collection of porn novels based on the notion that there was a secret sex slave block in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Nathan writes that:

the Times quotes Israeli holocaust researcher Na’ama Shik saying, K. Tzetnik’s tales of sex slavery are myth. “It was fiction. Block 24 didn’t exist,” she comments.

Actually, Shik says a little more in the version that appears online today at the Times web site. “There were no Jewish whores in Auschwitz,” she adds there (click to see the onine article).

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Over the Boardwalk

It's Labor Day in the United States, and in the US for many people that doesn't mean "let's celebrate workers," it means "let's get to the beach" so I was pleased to find a story in this morning's New York Times that was a beach-related public/private space kind of story that touches on issues of sexuality and human rights.

The question is whether the Boardwalk Pavilion in Ocean Grove, NJ, is public space or private space, and whether the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (a Methodist organization) must let the space be used by by gay and lesbian couples for the same purposes that straight couples use it: that is, for ceremonies celebrating their state-recognized unions.

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More Sex Ed(itorials): Voyeurism in NYC and Heterosexism in Congress

Sex-related editorials in the NYT two days in a row!

First, from yesterday's New York Times editorial page: Talk about an uncomfortable intersection between public space and sexuality! Peter Vallone Jr., NYC city council rep from Queens, is introducing a law that would create a penalty of up to $500 in fines and up to 90 days in jail for "ogling a person’s 'sexual or intimate parts' for more than a brief period." Aside from the obvious evidentiary and definitional problems (how do you prove someone was ogling, and how long is a "brief period" for exapmle), the Times opines that New York is a city full of exhibitionists and voyeurs, and that:

"Nobody wants some sicko drilling a peephole in their locker room wall or private hotel room

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A new theory of the Republican Closet?

GWB's adventures in the homophobe closet This morning's breakfast and coffee was livened up by an interesting op-ed piece in the opinion section of the New York Times.

And it made me wonder what it must feel like to be a member of the Log Cabin Republicans these days. Do you feel vindicated about being out, seeing the scorn heaped upon your closeted colleagues as they fall out of their garment bags? Do you feel saddened by the wreckage strewn about in their personal and professional lives? Do you feel angry and exasperated by the way these men have consistently pushed policies that have obviously been harmful to themselves as well as well as to so many others? Or do you find yourself just increasingly bewildered and puzzled by the sheer number of staunchly conservative "family values" Republican leaders who seem to be living double lives?

For all those in the bewildered and puzzled category, Gail Collins has a new hypothosis: It isn't the lightening storms and the fear of being the only white man in the bathroom; it isn't the incessent hounding of the press. No, it might just be the sheer stress of being a Republican campaign leader!

After all, it's not just Craig, formerly co-chair of the Romney campaign, we're talking about. Collins reminds us that David Vitter was southern regional chair for the Giuliani campaign, and Bob Allen was head of the Florida branch of McCain's presidential campaign. This leads her to ask:

"Does lending one’s name to a Republican presidential campaign create an irresistible impulse to misbehave? Or is this the sort of job people only undertake when they feel a secret need to do penance?"

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Why Young White Unmarried and Non-cohabiting Humans in Psychology Classes Have Sex (In America)

That should probably be the title of the new study by Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss of University of Texas at Austin (PDF).

The study is an important one because it does begin to explore people's conscious, expressed motivations for having sex, a subject that has been largely ignored or taken for granted in the past. We know much more about what kinds of sex people have than we do about why they have it (or why they think they have it).

And when I read the New York Times article about the study and saw that there was such a wide range of reasons people gave, I was excited: it seemed that the researchers were breaking open some interesting ground and finding lots of diversity.

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Role reversal: former porn star works to become minister (NYT)

While JanieBelle informs us on her blog about the seeming flood of Republican representatives and commentators who are being exposed for their participation in the sex industry (as clients, so far), I thought I'd let you know about a rather different sort of story that appeared in today's Style section of the New York Times.

Ronald Boyer and Gianna Ferrari during the shooting of an adult film in January. It seems a former porn star is working on becoming an Episcopal minister, and he's doing it all right out in the open. No hiding.

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Sex Ed(itorials) in the New York Times!

Two important sex-related editorials this morning:

First, the NYT comments on the need to pass the Safe Harbor For Exploited Youth act in New York. When NY passed its anti-trafficking legislation recently, it neglected to also pass this piece of very important legislation which would offer at least some protection to US citizens under the age of 18 who are being exploited for sex. As I've commented before, while I support most of the intentions of this legislation, there are problems, and these problems are pointed out by the editorial staff at the Times:

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Quickie: No bond for Genarlow Wilson

A quick update from this morning's new York Times on stories we've been following here and on my WordPress blog:

Genarlow Wilson was denied bond in his habeas corpus appeal. The NYT reports in its National Briefings section that "The judge, David Emerson, of Superior Court in Douglas County, ruled that Genarlow Wilson, 21, is not eligible for bail because hew as conficed to aggravated child molestation, a crime that is considered on of the 'seven deadly sins' under Georgia law."

You'll remember that his aggrevated child molestation convicton comes because of an act of consensual oral sex with a 15 year old when he was 17. I'll leave it to JanieBelle to comment on the use of phrases like 'seven deadly sins.'

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