Tracy Clark-Flory attends a live taping of Ultimate Surrender at the Armory. The kind of bodies she saw competing, and the types of people she saw watching, were not what she expected.
Banning male circumcision is the goal of a group of San Francisco “intactivists,” lead by Lloyd Schofield, who have successfully placed a measure on the local ballot for November that would make it “unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years.” The ordinance contains an exception for religious ceremonies, which is interesting as it pits two frameworks of “rights” against one another. On the one hand, religious freedom, and on the other, basic human and youth rights.
The key, as noted by the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, is how one conceptualizes the argument: “Conceptualized as the child’s right to be free from harm, the First Amendment religious freedom arguments become less persuasive.” As they show, legal precedent is mirky, and some debate over whether the group’s motivations are a “hostility to religion” or a resentment that they were circumcised have arisen.
U.S. State Department Response to UN Human Rights Council Working Group UPR Report « www.harlotsparlour.comPosted: March 10th, 2011 | Author: maymay | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: humanrights, kotbriefs, politics, sexwork | 2 Comments »
The US State Dept. published a response to the UN's Universal Periodic Review in full support of Recommendation 86, which says "no one should face violence or discrimination in access to public services based on…their status as a person in prostitution". The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group who worked with the UN’s US delegation praised the statement. "We are especially happy to note that the Obama administration is taking human rights abuses against sex workers seriously," RJ Thompson, Woodhull's Human Rights Program Director said.
But many US sex workers, who face discrimination and violence from US police forces, expressed skepticism. A sex worker rights advocate and blogger who writes under the name elrond said: "Will this mean sex workers can get tested for STDs in the US without fear of arrest? While cities like New Orleans who imprison sex workers for long sentences, I some how don't think so."
How is it that BDSM play is deeply connecting? What can we learn about how people in general construct intimacy with others in their lives by analyzing sadomasochistic communities? On this special episode of Kink On Tap, sociologist Dr. Staci Newmahr joins us to discuss her new book, Playing on the Edge: Sadomasochism, Risk, and Intimacy. Drawing on disciplines as far ranging as criminology to gender theory and beyond, Dr. Newmahr offers a rigorous conceptual framework in which to understand “What It Is That We Do,” the value of risk itself, and even the fluidity of identity.
Unlike the typical fare of sexuality news and articles and a roundtable discussion, this time I sat down one-on-one with Dr. Staci Newmahr to talk about her ethnography of the people in “Caeden,” a public BDSM community in America, for the entire 2-hour show. The book—and, therefore, this show—has personal and sentimental meaning to me not only because it articulates in academic language much of what I’ve been experiencing in my time as a part of numerous BDSM communities, but also because Staci is a personal friend. Her book therefore chronicles some of my own time in “Caeden,” and offered me a window into my own (often painful) past.
Although Kink On Tap is still not returning to weekly shows, that doesn’t mean there isn’t stuff coming up! First of all, if you have questions for Staci or comments about our conversation, leave a comment or fill out the Feedback form on our website. Also, there are a number of fantastic events scheduled where I hope you’ll say hi to me, including KinkForAll Providence 2 in Rhode Island and the Atlanta Poly Weekend (where I’m slated to give a presentation on anti-censorship best practices for sex-positive publishers) in Georgia.
Finally, if you like Kink On Tap or any of my other work, you can help me keep doing it by chipping a few dollars into the hat at the Kink On Tap Donate page, or bringing me to speak with your students or community group. Your contributions and invitations really do help a lot!
New technique to help catch sexual offenders: Scientists detect condom lubricant on fingermarks for the first timePosted: February 4th, 2011 | Author: maymay | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: crime, kotbriefs, technology | Comments Off on New technique to help catch sexual offenders: Scientists detect condom lubricant on fingermarks for the first time
A new technique that's able to detect condom lubricants in fingerprints may offer law enforcement personnel and prosecutors new ways to establish the presence of a suspect in an alleged sexual assault. The technique, developed at Sheffield Hallam University, uses MALDI-MSI (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging), a technology used to map fingerprint ridge patterns, and is able to detect lubricant in fingermarks that have been left for several weeks before analysis.
"Offenders are increasingly aware of forensic issues and it is common now for condoms to be used and removed from the scene of a sexual assault," Dr. Simona Francese said. "If condom lubricant can be detected in fingermarks it would improve the evidence for the prosecution by establishing the assailant's presence at the scene and, crucially, having had contact with a condom. This would enable forensic scientists to provide further support to the evidence in alleged cases of sexual assault."
Government censorship of Wikileaks highlights decades-long repression of sexual speech, Australian censors feed the labiaplasty industry, the MPAA thinks subtle cunnilingus should be rated NC-17, backlash against the TSA’s security theatre is only in the mainstream thanks to a privileged white dude’s junk, and Italian religious courts validate sexual thought crime.
Forget the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! The trinity from Screw Smart in Philadelphia offer many more things to say “amen” to! Kira Manser, Rebecca Alvarez, and J.D. Ackerman, the three sex positive queer women who founded this sex education collaborative joined me for a far-reaching conversation about their work as gynecological teaching associates, new media sex educators, and community builders in Pennsylvania. Hitting insights about American culture and its obstinate refusal to explore touch, whether sexualized or not, free market sensitivities (or lack thereof) to people of different body size and shape, and more, this “trinity of sex education” offers knowledge and asks questions with grace and class.
Also, as you may have noticed, this episode was recorded almost two months ago, which goes to show how incredibly understaffed and overworked I am. But I’m still interested in continuing Kink On Tap in some form or another, so I’m leaving the volunteer opportunities page up and I encourage you to get in touch with me if you’re interested in working together. I’ve done a lot in my time, and rather than throw in the towel, I’m actually gearing up for a whole lot more. Watch this space. :)
David Kato, one of the earliest and most prominent gay rights activists in Uganda, was murdered in his home Wednesday. The killing comes shortly after Kato won a permanent injunction against the Rolling Stone tabloid from publishing names and pictures of Ugandans it claims are homosexual. Kato himself was pictured in an earlier run of the tabloid under the headline "Hang Them." When asked for comment, the tabloid's managing editor Giles Muhame said he had "no regrets" about the publication—or the murder.
It's worth forever remembering the intimate role American Christian fundamentalists have played in this murder, as "visits from several American preachers renowned for their homophobic views," reported Xan Rice, helped create a climate of fear and prejudice in the country.
The terms "mother" and "father" on US passport applications are being replaced with the gender-neutral terms "Parent 1" and "Parent 2". Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council said the change "allows many different types of families to be able to go and apply for a passport…without feeling like the government doesn't recognize their family." Naturally, anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council are outraged, saying the change "violates the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act."
The change also highlights a staggeringly underreported issue: the technological infrastructure our society uses to classify people. Changing terms on forms costs real dollars, but perhaps counterintuitively, a gender-neutral infrastructure is not just more humane, it's more cost-effective, too.
At the initiative of Maaya Hitomi, a University of Windsor student and transgender activist, we discuss the recent Transgender Day of Remembrance and some of the news stories about it with friends of the show xMech and Shanna Katz.