Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Top Stories This Week
1. Why human trafficking raids put sex workers at risk;
2. Mass imprisonment of women believed to be sexually immoral;
3. How Mastercard’s new policy violates sex workers’ rights;
4. Incarceration’s toll on families;
5. A bill to allow people to sue doctors who care for trans youth;
6. Censorship in schools; and
7. Forced sterilization.
Why Human Trafficking Raids Put Sex Workers At Risk (Slate)
Roxanna Asgarian argues that some human trafficking efforts put sex workers at risk, including projects run by anti-trafficking nonprofits such as Selah Freedom: “Stacey Efaw, Selah Freedom’s executive director, said it could not confirm it is providing services to these women, or explain the services it is providing them, for privacy reasons. She said their services, which include therapy and job assistance programs, are not mandatory in cases of law enforcement referrals. ‘It’s voluntary, if they want help,’ Efaw said. But Alex Andrews, the cofounder of the Sex Workers Outreach Program Behind Bars, which provides support for incarcerated sex workers and victims of trafficking, says these services aren’t always perceived as voluntary by those who are referred to them by law enforcement. ‘It’s not referred for services so much as it is coerced into services. We call it coercive intervention, where they get a choice between going to jail, or going to this program.’”
America’s Forgotten Mass Imprisonment of Women Believed to Be Sexually Immoral (History.com)
Scott W. Stern examines the forgotten mass imprisonment of women believed to be sexually immoral: “From the 1910s through the 1950s, and in some places into the 1960s and 1970s, tens of thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of American women were detained and forcibly examined for STIs. The program was modeled after similar ones in Europe, under which authorities stalked “suspicious” women, arresting, testing and imprisoning them. If the women tested positive, U.S. officials locked them away in penal institutions with no due process.”
How Mastercard’s New Policy Violates Sex Workers’ Rights (ACLU)
LaLa B Holston-Zannell explains Mastercard’s new policy for adult content websites: “Mastercard developed a new policy for adult content websites using its credit card or payment options, imposing requirements such as pre-approval of all content before publication, forbidding certain search terms, and keeping records of age and identity verification for all performers. The stated intent of the policy is to prevent child sexual abuse material and other non-consensual content. But in practice, these requirements are difficult – if not impossible – to comply with.”
‘Science’ study details incarceration’s toll on families (St. Louis Public Radio)
Lara Hamdan details incarceration’s toll on families: “Next year marks 50 years since rates of imprisonment rapidly increased in the U.S., making it the country with the most prisoners in the world. The overwhelming majority of them, 93%, are men. But the impact of their incarceration is felt far beyond those men—with a major impact on their partners, their children and even their parents.” Read more.
Ohio Republicans Are Trying to Let Citizens Sue Doctors Who Care for Trans Youth (them.)
Molly Sprayregen highlights a new Ohio bill that would punish medical professionals for providing gender-affirming care to minors: “House Bill 454, also called the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (or “SAFE”) Act, would prohibit children under the age of 18 from receiving hormone treatments, puberty blockers, or other gender-affirming healthcare, even with parental consent, and charge any doctor who provides such care with “unprofessional conduct.” The legislation would subject such providers to discipline from their licensing entities, and also allow doctors to be sued for providing gender-affirming care.” Read more.
Texas Lawmaker Demands Schools Tell Him If They Have Books on Race, Sexuality (Truthout)
Chris Walker discusses censorship in Texas schools: “A Republican lawmaker in Texas announced that he has opened an investigation into public school libraries across the state, asking districts to report whether they have books from a list of hundreds of titles dealing with issues like race, gender and sexuality. A letter addressed to the Texas Education Agency from State Rep. Matt Krause (R), who is chair of the state House Committee on General Investigating, asked that superintendents of schools scour their school libraries to determine whether they have titles from a list of 850 books he deems to be problematic.”
Waiting for Justice (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog)
Tess Joseph comments on ICE’s history of forced sterilization: “People do not give up their humanity because they migrate from one nation to another, yet, the U.S. has long weaponized perceived criminality—rooted in racism and xenophobia—to determine whether immigrants deserve fundamental human rights. And often, the U.S. has determined that they do not. Jenn M. Jackson writes that U.S. commitment to ‘medical abuse and forced sterilizations depicts the complex nature of perceived criminality in this country.’ This became abundantly clear last year. [...] As Chris Walker reported, a whistleblower complaint about (DHS) alleged that ‘detainees at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Georgia were medically neglected,’ and ‘that an alarmingly large number of hysterectomies were being performed on detainees.’” Read more.
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