Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Top Stories This Week
1. The racism and classism of the March 16 Atlanta shooting;
2. Sexual violence linked to the Line 3 tar sands pipeline;
3. Being a Black leader in the abortion movement;
4. Pretrial detention;
5. Biden’s continuation of a Trump-era immigration policy;
6. Protecting women journalists; and
7. How the AIDS crisis prepared us for COVID-19.
In the Atlanta Shooting, We Can’t Ignore the Link Between Racism and Classism (Teen Vogue)
Sara Li underscores the racism and classism of the March 16 Atlanta shooting that killed eight people: seven of them women and of those, six of Asian descent: “The Asian women who were killed weren’t the type usually seen in Hollywood or included in board rooms; they were working class immigrants who took work that’s often considered demeaning and demoralizing. There's often an association between the massage parlors where these women worked and sex work, a link the suspect seemed to make. The gunman seemingly saw their employment as a threat.” Read more.
Exploiting More Than the Land: Sex Violence Linked to Enbridge Line 3 Pipeliners (Truthout)
Candice Bernd reports on the sexual violence connected to Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline in Minnesota: “As the national fight over [the pipeline] continues to intensify amid protests by Indigenous Water Protectors, one toxic byproduct of the pipeline’s construction has largely escaped public scrutiny: sexual assaults and harassment incidents linked to Line 3 workers. The devastating trend has long plagued U.S. fossil fuel and extraction projects, especially those adjacent to tribal reservations, and helps fuel a much larger human rights crisis in which thousands of Indigenous women and girls are killed or disappeared at shocking rates each year, often after having been trafficked, sexually assaulted or harassed.” Read more.
What It’s Like Being a Black Leader in the Abortion Movement (Rewire News Group)
Galina Espinoza interviews Yamani Hernandez, the head of the National Network of Abortion Funds. Hernandez says: “I have heard from a lot of Black leaders and people in this movement who feel like me being in this position has meant something to them. I’m really touched by that. But it’s also a lot of pressure to make sure you’re showing up in the ways people expect you to. [...] And I think we can sort of create this mythology around having a Black leader, giving that person almost superheroic traits, and that part is really hard because when you don’t do something perfectly it feels like you’ve let someone down.” Read more.
Virtually No One Is Dangerous Enough to Justify Jail (The Appeal)
Sandra Mayson and Megan Stevenson discuss pretrial detention in the U.S.: “Every day, jails in the U.S. hold close to half a million people who are legally presumed innocent. [...] The stated rationale for most pretrial detention is public safety. Current law authorizes detention (or unaffordable money bail) if the accused person presents a threat. Supreme Court doctrine suggests that the threat must be grave enough to outweigh the defendant’s right to liberty. Yet there has been no serious attempt to figure out how ‘risky’ a person must be for detention to be justified on these grounds.” Read more.
A Year of Border Lockdown, and Counting (The American Prospect)
Marcia Brown writes about Biden’s continuation of a Trump-era immigration policy: “In March 2020, as the pandemic raged around the world, America closed its doors. The Trump administration used a 1940s public-health ordinance to turn away virtually all immigrants, even blocking would-be asylum seekers that international law requires the U.S. to admit. [...] Biden stopped all additions to the MPP program in January. In February, he began to slowly process and admit at least 29,000 asylum seekers with open cases in the Remain in Mexico program. But President Biden has left that key Trump border closure policy in place. Its endurance means that there is still virtually no asylum at the border for anyone who has arrived since March 2020.” Read more.
We Owe It to Women Journalists to Protect Them from Harassment (Bitch Media)
s.e. smith urges us to protect women journalists: “Working in a media landscape where information—and disinformation—spreads as quickly as lightning has intensified the culture of harassment journalists sometimes experience just for doing their jobs. The most aggressively targeted tend to be women, particularly women of color, and they’re frequently told that enduring harassment is simply the price of doing business. [...] Journalism is often represented as a dream job with requisite sacrifices and suffering because workers are ‘doing it for the cause.’ But at the end of the day, they’re still workers, and they deserve employment protections and an affirming workplace.” Read more.
How The AIDS Crisis Prepared Us For COVID — And Shaped Our Response (them.)
Samantha Allen explains how the AIDS crisis prepared us for COVID-19: “One year ago, when a new and little-understood virus began spreading in the United States, straining our hospital system and causing mass death, there was at least one group of people who knew what to expect: HIV/AIDS experts. [...] Our successes—like efficient vaccine production and emergency FDA authorizations—have only been able to happen so quickly because of the knowledge we gained and the infrastructure we built during the AIDS crisis.” Read more.
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