Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Top Stories This Week
1. #SFS20 rolls on with 2 upcoming programs 2. Being unemployed and trans during the pandemic; 3. Strippers’ power to unionize; 4. The tragedy of heterosexuality; 5. Restrictions on training medical students on abortion care; 6. How federal housing programs failed Black America; and 7. Replacing police with private security.
We are gearing up for a meaningful program today - Imagining a Future Designed By Sex Workers: How Human Centered Design Can Be a Useful Tool for Sex Worker Leaders. We are at capacity, but you can still join the waitlist to see if we have any availability and we’ll send the recording out as well. Then, we’ll be chatting with Chaturbate.com about the fundamentals of webcamming. There’s no program next week, leaving you plenty of time to register to vote and get caught up in the archives! Get registered here! Read more about our upcoming programs here.
Being Unemployed and Trans During a Pandemic Is a Nightmare (them.)
Staley Munroe and Robert Vitale write about being unemployed and trans during the pandemic: “Here's the thing about being transgender. It makes you such a unique ‘glitch’ in outdated systems built on locked-in gender binaries that even if you’re patient and privileged enough to be able to update public records, all kinds of things pop up to complicate your efforts. [...] The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown more hurdles in our way. Trans people were more than three times as likely to be unemployed in this country before coronavirus, according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. If three times as many of us lost jobs in comparison to cisgender people since March, that would make about half of us vulnerable to those error messages on the unemployment websites of our state governments.” Read more.
Strippers Are Workers With the Power to Unionize (Jacobin)
Alex N. Press discusses strippers’ power to unionize: “In 2018, Brandi Campbell was working as a stripper at Centerfold Club, an adult entertainment venue in Columbus, Ohio when she wrote a letter to the club’s owner about the club’s rules for dancers. [...] Shortly after she wrote the letter, Centerfold discovered that Campbell maintains a blog about strippers’ labor rights, and that she has a history of suing clubs for violating those rights [...] Suspecting that they might be Campbell’s next target, the club fired her, specifically for violating ‘no touching’ laws—a firing that was later found to be discriminatory. In response, Campbell sued Centerfold, and in July 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) upheld an earlier ruling, finding that she was an employee protected by federal labor law, not an independent contractor, as the club had claimed, and had been fired for engaging in activities protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).” Read more.
Unraveling the Tragedy of Heterosexuality (Bitch Media)
Fiona Bell reviews The Tragedy of Heterosexuality, a book authored by gender and sexuality studies professor Jane Ward: “Ward begins by challenging straightness as a site of security and queerness as one of suffering. [...] Ward doesn’t advocate for political lesbianism, which posits sexual orientation toward women as a political choice. Instead, she challenges straight people to own their straightness: ‘If we abandoned all pretense that heterosexuality is the only option, or that it is easy, simple, automatic, predetermined, and not worth talking and thinking about, how might straight women and men articulate what propels them toward each other, despite all the difficulty?’” Read more.
(Shutterstock - medical students)
Medical Students Can’t Provide Abortions If They Never Learn How (Rewire.News)
Alys Brooks argues that restrictions on training can prevent medical professionals from providing quality care: “Brienna Milleson was a medical student working at the free clinic at Saint Louis University two years ago when a woman came in seeking a pregnancy test. It was positive, and the woman wasn’t sure whether she wanted to keep the pregnancy—a position many pregnant people are in each year. She wanted her doctor to explain her options. Milleson didn’t know what to say to her, as her two years of medical school had never covered abortion, a procedure so common that 1 in 4 women have it by the time they’re 45. The more experienced student on duty didn’t know how to handle the situation either.” Read more.
(Wally McNmee:Corbis:Getty Images)
The Burning House: How federal housing programs failed Black America (The Nation)
Marcia Chatelain recounts how federal housing programs failed Black America: “The nation’s rootedness in slavery and the way white Americans have galvanized the privileges afforded them are critical to understanding the problem of race in America, but so too is the history of housing and racism in American cities. Property and racial inequality have been bound up together so tightly and for so long that we often miss the relationship, and yet we cannot understand police brutality in the United States without it.” Read more.
“Defund Police” Doesn’t Mean Hire Private Guns—But Cities Are Doing Just That (Truthout)
Candice Bernd discusses replacing the police with private security: “At least 13 cities have cut funding from police department budgets or decreased officer numbers since Minneapolis led the charge by voting to disband the city’s police department in June. Several more have initiated the defunding process. [...] But some of the same cities that have voted to cut police funding have also experienced an influx of private security guards in recent months. In addition to wealthy residents and businesses hiring more security in New York and Los Angeles, Minneapolis council members came under fire for spending $4,500 per day to hire private guards for their own protection after voting to disband the city’s municipal police.” Read more.