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Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, January 19, 2022


Top Stories This Week

1. Abortion access in Wisconsin;
2. Black survivors’ experiences with the criminal legal system;
3. Anti-trans bills’ impact on mental health;
4. Sex ed for children;
5. The NYPD’s failure to serve victims;
6. Tech’s censorship of porn; and
7. Tess’ take on discrimination against sex workers.


(Aaron of L.A. Photography)

Last Resort Abortion in a Rural Reproductive Rights Wasteland (In These Times) 

Sam Stroozas describes abortion access in Wisconsin: “When Isabelle started craving pickles in summer 2021, she knew something was wrong. She assumed her late period was stress-related — until she took a pregnancy test. At 21, unable to raise a child and without access to abortion care in her rural community, Isabelle self-induced an abortion. In Wisconsin, a state with some of the most ‘severely restrictive’ abortion laws in the nation, people in need of an abortion have little time to lose. As of 2021, only four health centers in Wisconsin provide the abortion pill, which must be taken within 11 weeks of the last menstrual period. And only three health centers provide in-clinic procedures, all in cities far from most rural residents—two Planned Parenthood clinics in Milwaukee and Madison, and an Affiliated Medical Services clinic in Milwaukee. That means only three of Wisconsin’s 71 counties have an abortion provider.” Read more.


(Jared Rodriguez:Truthout)

Black Sexual Violence Survivors Are Telling Their Stories — Only to Be Punished (Truthout) 

Victoria Law highlights Black survivors’ experiences with the criminal legal system: “Women of color experience higher rates of domestic and sexual violence than their white counterparts. Approximately 4 of every 10 Black women have experienced intimate partner violence. Black women are more than twice as likely to be killed by their partner than white women. A 2008 study of housing-related sexual harassment complaints found that 58 percent of victims were Black women or women of color. At the same time, Black women are disproportionately criminalized and incarcerated. They are imprisoned at nearly twice the rate of white women. In many cases, police, prosecutors, juries and judges disbelieve or dismiss their experiences of abuse.” Read more.


(Michael M. Santiago:Getty Images)


Anti-Trans Bills Are Directly Harming LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health (them.) 

James Factora writes about how anti-trans bills affect LGBTQ+ youth’s mental health: “In news that will surprise no one, an unprecedented onslaught of anti-trans bills has taken a toll on the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth, a recent poll found. According to a new report from the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ mental health advocacy organization, 85% of trans and nonbinary youth — and 66% of LGBTQ+ youth — say that their mental health has suffered due to recent state-level attacks on trans rights.” Read more.



Why It’s Never Too Early to Start Sex Ed With Your Kids (Rewire News Group) 

Steph Auteri argues why it’s never too early to start sex ed: “It’s a common fear that teaching kids about sexuality before they’re cognitively ready is tantamount to inviting them to engage in sexual behaviors. [...] I assure you that this is not true. I’ve talked to my child about reproduction, consent, and all manner of other sexuality-related topics, and she still thinks kissing is gross. If that evidence isn’t sufficient, you should also know that research on cognitive development suggests that the ability to participate in guided decision-making develops in early adolescence.” Read more.


 (Teresa Shen:Flickr)

How the NYPD’s Troubled Sex Crimes Unit is Set Up to Fail Victims (The Appeal) 

Meg O’Connor covers NYPD’s failure to serve victims: “The biggest police department in the country has been under fire for bungling sex crimes for years — and retired New York Police Department officials say the situation has only gotten worse. The Special Victims Division (SVD) is now full of officers who have little to no investigative experience, sources say. At the same time, structural problems created by the NYPD discourage talented detectives from joining the SVD but incentivize those unqualified officers to join in search of a promotion, even if they have no care or interest in investigating the sensitive cases assigned to the division.” Read more.


(Elizabeth Brockway:The Daily Beast:Getty)

Tech’s Harsh Censorship of Porn Is Hitting Very Close to Home (Daily Beast) 

Valerie Webber shares her personal experience of tech’s harsh censorship of porn: “My webcam account was recently suspended for violating the code of conduct. I was told I had engaged in a fetish category that is cause for immediate account closure. I’ve been a porn and cam performer off and on since 2002. It was my main source of income for about 12 years, then I took a break to do a PhD. Now that I’m finishing my degree — and my funding has run out — I’ve found myself back online in what is probably the most inhospitable porn landscape we’ve seen in decades.” Read more.


(Ricardo Nagaoka)

Tess’ Take: Discrimination against Sex Workers (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog) 

Tess Joseph writes about discrimination against sex workers: “In 2017, Nicole Gililland made a career change. She began studying nursing at Southwestern Oregon Community College (‘SOCC’), a school nestled in a rural stretch along the Oregon Coast. But once SOCC staff members discovered the nature of Gililland’s previous line of work, she alleges that she was pressured to leave the program. Gililland, a former sex worker, confronted a slew of complications: her work was graded differently than other students, she was falsely accused of plagiarism, she was told ‘it takes a classy woman to be a nurse, and unclassy women shouldn’t be nurses.’” Read more.


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