Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Top Stories This Week
1. Sexual Freedom in the Time of Hope
2. The murder of Daunte Wright;
3. The murder of Adam Toledo;
4. Breaking the Internet;
5. Sex work prosecution;
6. Protest rights; and
7. Reproductive coercion.
It’s not a perfect world…yet…BUT there is a promise of change fueled by hope. We have four reliable years of Biden/Harris. What can we accomplish? And how should we accomplish it? What is the work that’s ahead of us? Where do we focus our efforts?
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Daunte Wright’s Death Proves We Don’t Need More Police Training (Teen Vogue)
Jameelah Nasheed reflects on the recent police murder of Daunte Wright: “After Philando Castile was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer, in 2016, the state established a $12 million law enforcement training fund. Less than four years later, the world watched video footage of a Minnesota law enforcement officer kill Floyd; and almost a year after that, we learn of Wright’s killing by Minnesota law enforcement. Chauvin, the officer charged with murder for kneeling on Floyd’s neck, was a field-training officer. [...] I want justice for Daunte Wright. I want justice for George Floyd. But what I want more than that is for them to still be here. True justice is dismantling the system that took them from their loved ones—shattering their communities and the hearts of Black people nationwide.” Read more.
Adam Toledo Is Dead, But Cops Donated Thousands to the Defense of the Vigilante Rittenhouse (Left Voice)
James Dennis Hoff writes about Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino boy murdered by a Chicago police officer, and the impossibility of reforming the police: “In the aftermath of the release of body camera footage of the shooting of Adam Toledo in Chicago, social media erupted with a series of viral posts contrasting Toledo’s brutal street execution to the police treatment of the white 17-year old vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse last summer. Meanwhile, a security breach has revealed that police across the country have donated thousands to the legal defense of Rittenhouse and the cop who shot Jacob Blake. [...] While hardly surprising, these revelations are yet more proof that the police remain a deeply racist, conservative, and dangerous force in U.S. society, one that is used by the state against the interest of workers on a daily basis.” Read more.
Sex Workers Explain Why the SAFE TECH Act Will Break the Internet (VICE)
Lauren Crosby Medlicott joins sex workers in voicing concerns about the SAFE TECH Act: “In 2018, Congress passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), a law ostensibly designed to curb human trafficking by holding websites and online platforms responsible for user content that might facilitate sexual exploitation. [...] Now, another round of anti-trafficking legislation is making its way through Congress, the Safeguarding Against Fraud, Exploitation, Threats, Extremism, and Consumer Harms Act—or SAFE TECH Act. Like FOSTA, the bill is attempting to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), the law passed in 1996 to protect free speech online by offering legal protection for online platforms and websites. And like before, sex workers are fearful of the consequences.” Read more.
Sex Work Prosecution Changes in New York Are a Welcome Step — but Not Enough (The Intercept)
Natasha Lennard posits that sex work prosecution changes in New York are not enough: “Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced on Wednesday that his office would no longer criminally prosecute prostitution or unlicensed massage, while moving to dismiss hundreds of cases related to the state’s infirm anti-sex worker laws. [...] Until sex work is wholly removed from the business of policing and the carceral system—that is, full decriminalization—every legislative or policy shift that limits the excesses of criminalization is but a step. And to be sure, Manhattan has not freed sex workers from the ruinous grip of law enforcement.” Read more.
States Consider Bills that Threaten Protest Rights (National Coalition Against Censorship)
The National Coalition Against Censorship offers an overview of various bills that threaten protest rights: “Since the beginning of the year, almost sixty-eight bills have been introduced in state legislatures that could infringe on the right to protest. Some of the bills seek to increase penalties for certain protests. Others aim to expand the definition of ‘riot’ in order to criminalize certain protests. LegisScan only rates six of the bills as not clearly partisan. Based on the bills’ sponsors, LegisScan rated two as ‘partisan – Democratic’ and over fifty are ranked ‘partisan – Republican’. A Florida bill (HB 1/SB 484) is particularly concerning and threatens to criminalize peaceful protestors present when others commit crimes. The bill has passed the state house and is headed to the senate for a full vote.” Read more.
When Your Partner Tries to Control Your Reproductive Choices (Rewire News Group)
Kylie Cheung urges us to consider that reproduction coercion is a form of abuse: “[Acts] of reproductive coercion aren’t widely recognized as domestic violence, even though forcing a person to carry an unwanted pregnancy can have long-term, devastating consequences. A person who is denied abortion care is four times more likely to experience poverty, and more likely to stay in an abusive relationship. Victims of reproductive coercion whose partners refuse to use a condom, or who remove the condom without their knowledge and consent, are also vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections.” Read more.
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