Archive for Recommended Reading

September 10th, 2014

Recommended Reading #214: Raising Awareness, Pt. II



      “Next Time Someone Says Women Aren’t Victims Of Harassment, Show Them This.” by Robot Hugs (Gender Socialization, Sociology) 8/9/14

I find this nicely put. I’ve read (and recommended) things that said basically the same thing before; I appreciate this as another way of straightforwardly and succinctly expressing it.

***

      “Mr. Obama, Your Move” by the New York Times Editorial Board (Non-Sex-Related, U.S. Public Policy, Labor, Sociology) 8/9/14

I don’t claim to be any expert on immigration law. I do, however, agree with what I interpret to be stated here. And as with so many (if not all) areas of public policy, I see laws and policies as neither the facilitators nor the upholders of shift…though they can contribute in certain instances/ways. Laws will not fix our species. A much greater shift(s) is necessary for that.

***

      “Crime, Bias and Statistics” by Charles M. Blow (Non-Sex-Related, Sociological Research, Race) 9/7/14

I so agree with this and agree too that it’s important to point out. I myself find almost all statistics related to social phenomena something that may seem interesting but should be observed with an understanding that both ways of gathering and ways of interpreting statistics are easily manipulable, both intentionally and unintentionally.

***

Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

September 3rd, 2014

Recommended Reading #213: Sex as Labor, Pt. V



      “Let’s Hear from the Clients on the Rights of Sex Workers” by sxcline (Sex Work, Sex and Culture, Sociology) 8/10/14

Well put.

***

      “Labor Intensive: In Defense of Sex Work” by A Dozen Pissed Off Sex Workers (Sex Work, Sex and Culture, Sociology) 8/23/14

I appreciate the pragmatic tone of this (even as I feel ideologically strongly in favor of an appreciation of sex work and of sex worker rights), and it seems to me its straightforward approach as such could reach readers who haven’t particularly considered the issue(s) in question.

***

      “Still Harmful to Minors” by Dr. Elizabeth Wood (Youth, Public Policy, Sex and Culture) 7/25/14

Not only do I find this brilliant, but it also articulates a specific and powerful point I had not ever consciously articulated myself. As the author puts it, “If we tell that 15-year-old that we can only help her by housing her against her will in a locked and guarded detention facility, or if we tell her that we can only offer her shelter if she will promise never to have sex or use drugs or skip school, or if we tell her that we are going to send her back to the parents who kicked her out in the first place, or the foster parents she ran away from, or the country that she fled, then we are telling her we care more about her behavior than her safety” (emphasis mine). What an important and, again, powerful, recognition.

***

Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

July 30th, 2014

Recommended Reading #212: Sexual Hysteria, Pt. II



      “IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Waited Until My Wedding Night to Lose My Virginity and I Wish I Hadn’t” by Samantha Pugsley (Religion, Gender Socialization, Memoir, Sex and Culture) 8/1/14

Partly, I’m sure, because this hits a little close to home for me, I truly found this difficult to read, as well as terribly disheartening and sympathy- and empathy-evoking. I so wish this author all the best and appreciate her sharing her story with the aim of supporting others.

***

      “Porn Stars Want to Know: Why Did Facebook Delete Me?” by Aurora Snow (Pornography, Sex Work, Social Media, Sex and Culture) 8/2/14

Beyond the practical ramifications, of course, I feel this speaks (as so many things seem to) to a larger way collective culture treats sexuality and sex work. I share this and other posts like it because I want us to continue to be reminded and aware of that. Perhaps, then, we will successfully support a shift in it.

***

      “This Is What Sex-Positive Parenting Really Looks Like” by Lea Grover (Parenting, Youth, Sex and Culture) 7/29/14

Beautifully put. This of course isn’t an example of sexual hysteria itself, of course—I include it under this heading because I feel it offers an example of a helpful counter-approach to the sexual hysteria that seems to pervade our culture, particularly around kids and young people.

***

Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

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.

***

      “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.

***

      “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.

***

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.)

***

      “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.

***

      “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.”)

***

Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday