Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Top Stories This Week
1. Post-Trump anti-blackness;
2. The violence of the anti-abortion movement;
3. A conversation with the editors of Kink;
4. The brutality of the Border Patrol;
5. Privacy concerns on social media;
6. Medical racism and COVID-19 vaccines; and
7. Decriminalizing sex work in New York.
Let’s Not Lose Ourselves in Euphoria Over Trump’s Exit. Anti-Blackness Persists. (Truthout)
George Yancy writes about the persistence of anti-blackness post-Trump: “Now that Trump is out and we have President Joe Biden, and history has been made with America’s first female, African American and Asian American vice president, we must not forget recent history. We must not forget the white supremacy that displayed itself on January 6, at the Capitol. While President Biden scorned and truthfully spoke about ‘the sting of white supremacy,’ and recognized publicly Black suffering in the U.S., we must be careful not to assume that 400 years of anti-Black racism will end in four or eight years. It will not! To assume otherwise is to be trapped in the euphoria of this moment.” Read more.
Violence Is the Anti-Abortion Movement’s Calling Card (Rewire News Group)
Caroline Reilly speaks with Calla Hales, the director of A Preferred Women’s Health Center of North Carolina, about the violence of the anti-abortion movement: “Hales said the longstanding history of violence against abortion providers—of clinic bombings and assassinations—creates a climate of fear, where every threat has to be taken seriously. And anti-abortion activists know that. They know that a bomb threat will disrupt an entire day of care. They know that protesters will inevitably scare some patients off. They know that providers are conditioned to expect the worst.”
There Are Thousands of Ways to Be Kinky. Kink Captures Its Beauty and Range (them.)
Sarah Neilson interviews R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell, the editors of Kink, a new short story collection. On how to define “kink,” Greenwell says: “I think I’m comfortable saying that kink doesn’t take for granted what sex should look like or the forms that sex can take, and that kink practices are often aware of sex, not just as a natural phenomenon, but as something that is staged and negotiated. It often foregrounds conversations that make explicit expectations about what sex might look like or what consent might entail.” Read more.
Border Patrol policies kill hundreds of migrants each year—and they were designed to (Prism)
Tina Vásquez comments on the most recent report by No More Deaths and La Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Left to Die: Border Patrol, Search and Rescue, and the Crisis of Disappearance, which documents the “crisis of death and disappearance” in the borderlands: “When people migrate on foot to the United States, their cellphones become their life lines. When they are in distress, one of their final acts before they disappear is using the last of their cellphone battery to call their family and share information about their surroundings and their health. In at least 26% of emergency cases, No More Deaths and La Coalición de Derechos Humanos found that a family member received a distress call from their loved one or from an eyewitness. When these loved ones go missing, families contact Border Patrol for help, only to experience inaction, negligence, and hostility.” Read more.
No, Shitty Men Have Not Been Purged From Media (Bitch Media)
Ope Adedeji explains the privacy concerns of TikTok’s “Silhouette Challenge,” in which participants post a video of their silhouettes with a red filter: “Olotu Funke, who considers herself as an exhibitionist, doesn’t upload explicit video content on Snapchat because she’s seen men blackmail women with their own pictures and videos. She’s also received unsolicited, inappropriate photos from men. However, she decided to participate in the Silhouette Challenge because the red filter made her feel safe. [...] However, she quickly deleted her video when men began removing red filters from participants’ videos so that the bodies and faces of the women became clearer.”
Medical Racism Has Led to Mistrust of the COVID-19 Vaccine in the Black Community (Teen Vogue)
LaShyra “Lash” Nolen discusses mistrust of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Black community: “Two weeks ago my aunt sent me a text message, ‘I’m scheduled to get the vaccine next week, but I’m scared. Do you have time to chat?’ Since the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines, impromptu informational phone calls with family and friends have become routine for me. As a Black woman and first-generation medical student, I’ve learned to seamlessly switch between my roles as a student and the sole science communicator of my family. Between my own and my family’s experiences, I have a long list of stories that validate my community’s distrust in the medical institution. So, when my aunt said she was nervous about the vaccine, I understood her fear, but I also didn’t want her to miss her shot—just like I don’t want Black communities across the nation to miss theirs.” Read more.
New York Moves a Step Closer to Decriminalizing Sex Work (The Advocate)
Bryce Covert shares New York’s progress toward decriminalizing sex work: “[On February 2, 2021], Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that repeals a decades-old statute that advocates say disproportionately targeted trans people who are simply walking or standing on the street. The legislation also automatically seals any previous arrest records under the statute. [...] Next, advocates in New York plan to move forward on efforts to make it the first state to decriminalize sex work. (A bill introduced in 2019 never advanced.) They’ll also advocate for a bill that would vacate sex trafficking-related convictions from people’s records, and push to defund the NYPD’s vice unit. And they’ll have to compete with a bill in the state legislature that decriminalizes sex work while still cracking down on sex workers’ clients, a model that advocates argue won’t protect them.” Read more.
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