Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Top Stories This Week

1. Addressing violence against Native women;
2. Sweeping changes to the H1-B program;
3. Tips for talking to kids about politics; 
4. Children’s gender identities;
5. The creation of a health center for sex workers, by sex workers;
6. Body modification as a way to cope with chronic pain; and
7. Reproductive coercion. 

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 (Mandel Ngan: AFP: Getty Images)

Trump’s Attempts to Address Violence Against Native Women Aren’t Enough to End an Epidemic (Rewire.News) 

Ruth Hopkins contends that the recent executive order to confront the epidemic of violence against Native women will be far from effective: “I’d love to believe that these initiatives purporting to address violence against Native women are grounded in legitimate concern, but we must look at the totality of the president’s words and actions. His ongoing disrespect has included insulting Native peoples at events meant to honor us. Federal law under his administration disregards tribal leadership and law enforcement’s abilities to handle cases involving non-Natives, who are the most likely to commit violence against Native women. [...] A task force or executive order are bandaids, and not enough to tackle systemic ongoing genocide against this land’s first peoples.” Read more.


 (Adam Vieyra: Mother Jones)

Trump has built a bureaucratic wall to keep out immigrants he says he wants (Reveal) 

Sinduja Rangaraja discusses the sweeping changes made to the H-1B visa program: “Since early 2017, a series of USCIS memos have outlined dramatic changes to how the H-1B program is administered. [...] An October 2017 memo required every H-1B case to be evaluated without giving any weight, or ‘deference,’ to past approvals. Previously, USCIS officers would not deny an H-1B renewal if the visa had been approved in the past and there was no reason to scrutinize the application. A memo in February 2018 targeted IT staffing companies, some of the heaviest users of the H-1B program. The new rules have shaken up the once-predictable H-1B application process.” Read more.


(Getty Images)

3 Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Politics (Jacobin) 

Hadas Thier urges adults to talk to kids about politics: “So many of the world’s problems are genuinely terrifying: children in cages, the world heating up, police violence against people of color. Many children don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing which of these issues they’d like to think about. But, to the extent that you and your kids have a choice, take advantage of it to help them engage with the world at a pace that they can handle.” Read more.


 (Barcroft Media: Getty Images)

Study Says Trans and Cisgender Children Have Equally Strong Gender Identities (them.) 

Wren Sanders covers the results from a new study that concludes that trans youth experience their gender identities “just as strongly and clearly” as cis youth: “‘These findings illustrate that children develop a sense of identity at an early age,’ the authors conclude, adding that ‘this identity is not necessarily determined by sex assigned at birth, and that children may hold on to this identity even when it conflicts with others’ expectations.’ To a trans or [GNC] reader, these points might appear self-explanatory, even self-evident. Yet as a scientific antidote to the frighteningly prevalent discourse that questions parents’ decisions to support their trans kids’ identities, studies such as these prove invaluable.” Read more.


(Chelsea Beck) 

The Making of a Health Clinic for Sex Workers, by Sex Worker (Jezebel) 

Tracy Clark-Flory details the history of the St. James Infirmary, a health clinic made for and by sex workers: “St. James Infirmary seemed like a long-shot, even in San Francisco: a collaboration with the city government that prioritizes the interests and needs of sex workers over those of health officials and law enforcement. [...] That this progressive mission managed to get any government backing is the result of an irreplicable alchemy of activist community, political momentum, and public opinion; and it was only made possible by years of sex worker activism.” Read more.


(Sabrina May: Unsplash)

Memorializing Survival: Piercing the Chronic Pain Away (Bitch Media) 

Caroline Reilly writes about coping with chronic pain through body modification: “Caring for your body looks different when you’re sick or living with trauma; things that seem routine for everyone else, like food shopping, become chores. [...] There’s a therapeutic nature to the vanity, even the frivolity of tending to a part of our body for purely aesthetic reasons; at the same time watching a part of ourselves heal by our own hand is a vivid reminder that the other parts of us too, are capable of healing.”
Read more.


 (Molly Cranna)

What You Should Know about Reproductive Coercion (Teen Vogue) 

Emma Sarran Webster explains reproductive coercion, an extremely common form of violence that threatens reproductive autonomy: “It commonly takes the form of active birth control sabotage—like hiding, destroying, or withholding contraception (or, according to The National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline), withholding finances for purchasing birth control); poking holes in a condom or removing a condom during sex without consent (an act known as “stealthing”); failing to carry out the agreed-upon pull out method; and even physically removing contraception like IUDs, vaginal rings, and patches.”
Read more.


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