July 23rd, 2014

Recommended Reading #211: (United States) Public Policy, Pt. VI



      “Supreme Court Breakfast Table” by Dahlia Lithwick (Reproductive Rights, Law, Sex and Culture) 6/26/14

I appreciate deeply the constitutional right to free speech and generally don’t condone censorship. I also appreciate the difficulty this case did present, and I don’t pretend to be a first amendment scholar. I do, however, feel resonance with what I read in this piece.

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      “Sex work is work: exploding the ‘sex trafficking’ myth” by Margaret Corvid (Sex Work, Sex and Culture, Sociology, Law) 7/7/14

When I first read the line about sex trafficking’s being a myth, it gave me pause, and I went back and read the first part of this piece again after I finished it the first time. As I interpret it, the author is not disregarding that force and horrendous violations of human rights occur in sex work; she is asserting that this is not unique to the sex industry and that separating it out as such as though it is a separate phenomenon does not necessarily help any aspiration to eradicate human trafficking and increase safety for workers. That resonates with me. I would maybe have devoted a few more sentences to clarifying a reverence for the profound tragedy that is human trafficking (not just sex trafficking), but I found the thrust of the piece about the nuances of sex work and the problematic nature of seeing it as inherently degrading, harmful, or nonconsensual, as society (or at least certain factions of it) still seems to, potent and relevant.

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      “Who gets shot in America: What I learned compiling records of carnage for the New York Times” by Jennifer Mascia (Non-Sex-Related, Memoir, Sociology, Violence, Public Policy) 7/15/14

For an online read, this may seem a fairly long piece. If you have the time to read it, though, I found it unusually interesting and consideration-provoking.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

July 16th, 2014

Recommended Reading #210: Digging Deeper, Pt. XI



      “91 Bad Words About Young People and Prostitution: The New York Times Edition” by Elizabeth Wood (Sex Work, Youth, Sex and Culture, Media) 6/25/14

http://www.woodhullalliance.org/2014/sex-in-the-public-square/91-bad-words-about-young-people-and-prostitution-the-new-york-times-edition/
As I see it, Elizabeth just nails it in this analysis with incisive, articulate, relevant commentary. (I’ve come to not feel surprised by such with anything with the name “Elizabeth Wood” on it, but I appreciate it nonetheless.)

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      “I Think My Son Is Into BDSM, What Do I Do?” by Cory Silverberg (BDSM, Parenting, Youth) 8/5/11

While I don’t have (human!) kids and thus do not find myself in this situation, I really like what Cory had to say about it.

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      “Life-Long Sexual Monogamy Just Isn’t Natural — Here Are Some Other Options” by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson (Relationship, Non-Monogamy, Sex and Culture) 6/12/14

I love this (not surprisingly—if you missed it, please see my post on the authors’ latest co-authored book, Partners in Passion). I love what they say, how they say it, and that they say it. I so appreciate seeing this piece—and indeed, a piece like this—receiving a platform and exposure as wide as Alternet’s. (Note that the authors have stated that they did not choose the headline/title. I can appreciate their pointing that out, as it’s not a title I would have chosen or that I feel does justice to the piece’s content. Rather, it does what headlines seem at this point designed to do—incite reaction and, thus, a “click.”)

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

July 9th, 2014

Recommended Reading #209: Advocating Progress, Pt. II



      “18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who’s Really in Charge of Women’s Bodies” by Julianne Ross (Gender Socialization, Health and Body, Gender Identity, Sexual Identity) 7/2/14

Huge fan of these!

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      “Let’s Talk About The Sex-Positive Movement” by Kitten Karlyle (Sex and Culture, Feminism, Memoir, Sociology) 5/14/14

I experienced this as a thoughtful, articulate, important examination of relevant issues around feminism, sexuality, and society.

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      “Ultra-rich man’s letter: ‘To My Fellow Filthy Rich Americans: The Pitchforks Are Coming’” by DNA (Non-Sex-Related, Economics, Sociology, Politics, Humanity) 6/30/14

I am so in love with this I don’t even feel I know how to break down into articulation why right now.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

July 2nd, 2014

Recommended Reading #208: Sex(uality) as Labor, Pt. IV



      “Cutting Off Sex Work Advertising Sites Disrupts Communities, Not Trafficking” by Alana Massey (Sex Work, Law, Sex and Culture) 7/1/14

I don’t feel there’s a lot for me to say about this piece or this subject that isn’t already said here. I feel deeply concerned about this (as well as, not surprisingly, disgusted by it).

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      “How the Financial Sector Is Making Life Miserable for Sex Workers” by Tina Horn (Sex Work, Economics, Sociology) 7/14/14

I find this infuriating and appreciate seeing awareness being raised about it. Even if we don’t know the banks’ motivations, reminders of discrimination against sex workers—even those who work in legal areas of sex work—seem important to me.

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      “Red Alert: The Feds Shut Down an Escort Site” by Siouxsie Q (Sex Work, Memoir, Economics, Public Policy) 7/9/14

While this deals, of course, with the same direct subject as the first piece for this week, it touches on slightly different things and strikes me, as the Massey piece, as well worth reading.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

June 25th, 2014

Recommended Reading #207: Questions and Examination, Pt. VI



      “Are men’s naked bodies the stuff of nightmares? I think not” by Zoe Margolis (Gender Socialization, Health and Body, Sex and Culture) 6/22/14

I agree with the assertions I interpret here about gender equality and gender socialization, and I too have lamented for years the seeming lack of expressions of appreciation for the beauty and sexiness of the male body. I appreciate seeing this said.

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      This timeline photo caption on UniteWomen.org’s Facebook page (Gender Socialization, Sex and Culture, Violence) 6/25/14

This, indeed, speaks for itself (be sure to click the “See More” link in the photo caption).

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      “Slut-Shaming Hurts Every Woman—Including Mean Girls” by Shira Tarrant (Sociology, Research, Gender Socialization) 6/23/14

I liked and appreciated this because it struck me as a substantive assessment of both the general cultural phenomenon referred to as slut-shaming as well as the study on the subject to which this piece refers. In a relative few words, this piece brings to light a number of issues, and rather than postulate answers, it raises questions. I appreciate that and recommend it due to its potential instigation of awareness and consideration as such.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday